U.S. Route 12 in Wisconsin
|Maintained by WisDOT|
|Length:||339.40 mi (546.21 km)|
|Existed:||1926 – present|
|History:||Designated in 1917 as WIS 12|
|West end:||I-94 / US 12 in Hudson|
|East end:||US 12 in Genoa City|
|Counties:||St. Croix, Dunn, Chippewa, Eau Claire, Clark, Jackson, Monroe, Juneau, Sauk, Dane, Jefferson, Rock, Walworth|
U.S. Highway 12 (US 12 or Highway 12) in the U.S. state of Wisconsin runs east–west across the western to southeast portions of the state. It enters from Minnesota running concurrently with Interstate 94 (I-94) at Hudson, parallels the Interstate to Wisconsin Dells, and provides local access to cities such as Menomonie, Eau Claire, Black River Falls, Tomah and Mauston. It then provides an alternative route for traffic between northwestern Wisconsin and Madison and is the anchor route for the West Beltline Highway around Madison. Finally, it serves southeastern Wisconsin, connecting Madison with Whitewater, Elkhorn and Lake Geneva. The West Beltline Highway and the segment between Elkhorn and Lake Geneva are freeways, and the segment between Sauk City and Middleton is an expressway. The remainder of the road is a two-lane surface road or an urban multi-lane arterial. Between Hudson and west of Warrens, the road closely parallels the former main line of the Omaha Road, now operated by Union Pacific Railroad.
Hudson to Lake Delton
US 12 crosses the St. Croix River from Minnesota concurrent with I-94 into St. Croix County. Wisconsin Highway 35 (WIS 35) joins both routes upon their entry into Wisconsin and exits south three miles (5 km) east. US 12 leaves I-94 one mile (1.6 km) further east from the eastern WIS 35 exit, treks two miles (3 km) north and parallels the interstate. The highway crosses WIS 65 in Roberts and passes through Hammond over a fifteen-mile (24 km) segment to Baldwin, where it crosses US 63. US 12 passes through Woodville four miles (6 km) east of Baldwin and crosses WIS 128 in Wilson, two miles (3 km) west of the Dunn County line. Roughly three miles into Dunn County, US 12 passes through Knapp, Wisconsin, then turns southeastward, connecting with WIS 79 six miles (10 km) further; it then joins WIS 25 (North Broadway Street) to the south in Menomonie. US 12 turns east onto WIS 29 (Main Street East) in downtown Menomonie, and the two routes follow Stout Road east out of the city. The highways meet an interchange with I-94, then split one half of a mile east in Elk Mound at the junction with WIS 40. US 12 passes through Elk Mound and enters Eau Claire County
US 12 merges with WIS 312 east (North Crossing) for two miles (3 km) before turning south onto Clairemont Avenue, bypassing downtown Eau Claire to the south and west. WIS 37 joins with US 12 on the southwest side of the city. Access to WIS 93 is provided via US 53. The interchange between US 12 and US 53 in Altoona is Wisconsin's only single-point urban interchange. US 12 continues east out of the Eau Claire metropolitan area and passes through Fall Creek, where it turns southeastward to join WIS 27 south in Augusta. The two highways briefly join US 10 on the Jackson County line in Fairchild US 12 and WIS 27 turn southward and pass through Humbird in Clark County and into Jackson County.
US 12 and WIS 27 cross WIS 95 in Merrillan and WIS 54 in Black River Falls. US 12 and WIS 27 also split in Black River Falls. US 12 follows I-94 to the southeast past Millston and into Monroe County. The highway crosses I-94 (with no access) south of Kirby and junctions with WIS 21 on the north side of Tomah at an interchange with the interstate. US 12 passes through Tomah and joins with WIS 16 on the south side at the junction with WIS 131 near Mill Bluff State Park. The highways continue paralleling I-90 and I-94 southeast and pass through Oakdale and into Juneau County.
US 12 and WIS 16 pass through Camp Douglas and cross WIS 80 in New Lisbon. The highways then junction with WIS 58 and WIS 82 in Mauston as they continue southeast. The routes trek eastward and pass through Lyndon Station, where Rocky Arbor State Park is located. The highways turn southeast again and cross the Interstates into Sauk County and Wisconsin Dells. WIS 16 turns east onto WIS 13 north as WIS 23 west turns south onto US 12. These highways follow the Wisconsin Dells Parkway south into the heart of the Wisconsin Dells tourism district, — passing such attractions as Noah's Ark Waterpark, the Wisconsin Ducks boat tours, Kalahari Resort, Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park, Wilderness Territory, and Tommy Bartlett's Thrill Show. WIS 23 turns west onto Monroe Ave as US 12 turns southeast and crosses the Interstates.
Lake Delton to Cambridge
At the I-90/94 interchange, US 12 becomes a freeway that bypasses Baraboo. The section from I-90/94 to just south of Old Highway 33 is complete, and then U.S 12 joins its old alignment at a roundabout. WIS 33 joins the old US 12 alignment three miles (5 km) north of Baraboo; the routes split in West Baraboo at WIS 136. US 12 joins with WIS 159, a short highway that provides access to Devil's Lake State Park. Eventually, WisDOT will continue the Baraboo bypass freeway south of its current terminus at Old Highway 33, to just south of the Grasser Road overpass. Near the US 12/WI 159 intersection, the highway will become an expressway to just south of Ski Hi Road. The highway briefly becomes an expressway two miles south of WIS 159 for seven miles (11 km) as it approaches Sauk City. WIS 60 briefly joins US 12 in Sauk City and WIS 78 crosses the Wisconsin River concurrently with US 12 into Dane County. US 12 becomes an expressway again at the county line and continues southeast, crossing WIS 19 at Springfield Corners. Just northwest of Middleton, the route becomes a freeway as it enters the Madison area along the West Beltline Highway.
US 12 merges with US 14 at University Avenue. The freeway continues south and turns eastward at the interchange with CTH M and CTH S (Mineral Point Road). US 18 and US 151 join the beltline off Verona Road in southwestern Madison. The four routes travel concurrently for two miles (3 km), passing through interchanges with Todd Drive and Fish Hatchery Road before US 14 leaves south towards Janesville and US 151 north into downtown Madison via Park Street. The four-way concurrency was crossed by a railroad track at the surface until 2007. The crossing was isolated using Jersey barriers until that time. The freeway also had several ramps, which contained driveways that accessed businesses. US 12 and US 18 continue east into Monona and cross the Upper Mud Lake channel. The highways meet US 51 at Stoughton Road, then interchange with I-39 and I-90 on the southeast side of Madison. US 12 and US 18 continue as an expressway east of the interstates, junctioning with WIS 73 in Deerfield and splitting, with US 12 turning southeast into Jefferson County in Cambridge.
Cambridge to Genoa City
After leaving Cambridge, US 12 passes through Oakland and crosses WIS 26, WIS 89, and WIS 106 in Fort Atkinson. WIS 89 joins US 12 as the route turns southward to approach Whitewater, bypassing the city to the south into Walworth County. The route briefly enters Rock County before crossing into Walworth County WIS 89 turns off US 12 at its junction with WIS 59. WIS 59 East follows US 12 briefly before turning north into the city. US 12 passes through La Grange and turns south at the junction with WIS 20 to follow WIS 67 south. US 12 turns southeast off WIS 67 onto a freeway northeast of Elkhorn. The highway crosses over WIS 11 with no access, then interchanges with I-43. Access for Lake Geneva is provided at WIS 120 and WIS 50 as US 12 passes the city to the east. The highway turns south into Genoa City, where the freeway ends and US 12 follows the crossroad into Illinois.
The entire route was originally signed as WIS 12 in 1917 prior to the creation of the U.S. highway system in 1926. Aside from changes resulting from the construction of freeways and US 12 being aligned on them, some differences exist between the original route and today's alignment. WIS 12 followed CTH E, a more southerly alignment, between Menomonie and Eau Claire. From Black River Falls, WIS 12 continued south to Shamrock and turned east to follow CTH O to Millston. WIS 12 ran southerly from Tomah along WIS 131 to CTH A and turned east onto the county road to pass through Hustler and Clifton to reach New Lisbon.
The route between Cambridge and Whitewater was upgraded to a straighter and flatter path for safety. A bypass of Whitewater was added in 2005, although the bypass is currently only two lanes. Upgrades to US 12 between Middleton and Sauk City were completed in 2005, but local opposition prevented most of the remaining route north of that point to Lake Delton from being constructed.
In Wisconsin, the highway was designated as the Iron Brigade Memorial Highway in 1993 to honor the Civil War Union Army unit; it also has this designation in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois.
Illinois state line to Madison
The state originally planned to upgrade all of US 12 from Madison to Genoa City to freeway in anticipation of Illinois facilitating a toll road south of the state line. However, after Wisconsin started upgrading between Elkhorn and Genoa City, it was realized that the project was shelved by Illinois, apparently due to community opposition (see FAP 420).
Nonetheless, several portions of US 12 between Genoa City and Madison are being studied for a possible upgrade to freeway status. A small, 3.5-mile-long (5.6 km) section from the I-39/I-90 interchange to the County N interchange east of Madison is being studied as part of the I-39/I-90 reconstruction project. An extension of the US 12 freeway north of Elkhorn to Whitewater is currently being proposed as well. When that happens, the Whitewater bypass will be expanded to a four-lane freeway. A connection between the Whitewater and Fort Atkinson bypass was in the planning stages, but that has been delayed until 2019 at the earliest.
Madison to Wisconsin Dells
Several sections of US 12 between the Madison Beltline and Wisconsin Dells are being studied for upgrade to freeway.
||This section contains a table that is missing mileposts for one or more junctions. Please help by .|
|Washington||Lakeland||I‑94 west / US 12 west||Continuation into Minnesota|
|St. Croix River||0.00||0.00||Minnesota–Wisconsin state line|
|St. Croix||Hudson||1||WIS 35 north||Western end of WIS 35 overlap|
|2||County F (Carmichael Road)|
|3||WIS 35 south||Eastern end of WIS overlap|
|4||I-94 east||Eastern end of I-94 overlap|
|Roberts||WIS 65 south||Western end of WIS 65 overlap|
|WIS 65||Eastern end of WIS 65 overlap|
|Baldwin||US 63 north||Northern end of US 63 overlap|
|US 63 north||Southern end of US 63 overlap|
|Town of Springfield||WIS 128|
|Dunn||Town of Menomonie||WIS 79 north|
|Menomonie||WIS 25 north||Northern end of WIS 25 overlap|
|WIS 25 north (Broadway Street)||Southern end of WIS 25 overlap|
|WIS 29 (Main Street)||Western end of WIS 29 overlap|
|Town of Elk Mound||60||I-94||I-94 exit 52|
|61||WIS 29 east / WIS 40 north||Eastern end of WIS 29 overlap|
|Eau Claire||Eau Claire||WIS 312 west (North Crossing)||Western end of WIS 312 overlap|
|WIS 312 east (North Crossing) / County T||Eastern end of WIS 312 overlap|
|WIS 37 south|
US 53 Bus. (Hastings Way)
|Altoona||US 53||US 53 exit 86|
|Augusta||WIS 27 north||Northern end of WIS 27 overlap|
|Jackson||Town of Cleveland||US 10 west||Western end of US 10 overlap|
|Clark||Town of Mentor||US 10 east||Eastern end of US 10 overlap|
|Black River Falls||I-94||I-94 exit 115|
|WIS 54 west||Western end of WIS 54 overlap|
|WIS 54 east||Eastern end of WIS 54 overlap|
|Town of Brockway||WIS 27 south||Southern end of WIS 27 overlap|
|Monroe||Tomah||I-94||I-94 exit 143; no entrance from westbound I-94|
|WIS 21||Provides access from westbound I-94|
|WIS 16 west / WIS 131 south||Western end of WIS 16 overlap|
|I-90||I-90 exit 43|
|Juneau||New Lisbon||WIS 80 north||Northern end of WIS 80 overlap|
|WIS 80 south||Southern end of WIS 80 overlap|
|Mauston||WIS 58 / WIS 82|
|Town of Lyndon||I-90 / I-94||I-90 / I-94 exit 85|
|Sauk||Wisconsin Dells||WIS 13 / WIS 16 east / WIS 23 east||Eastern end of WIS 16 overlap; northern end of WIS 23 overlap|
|Lake Delton||WIS 23||Southern end of WIS 23 overlap|
|I-90 / I-94||I-90 / I-94 exit 92|
|Town of Delton||212||
US 12 Bus. / County BD (Fern Dell Road)
|214||N. Reedsburg Road|
|215||WIS 33 west – Reedsburg||Northern end of WIS 33 overlap|
|West Baraboo||WIS 33 east / WIS 136||Southern end of WIS 33 overlap|
|Town of Baraboo||WIS 159 east|
|Town of Prairie du Sac||WIS 60 west||Western end of WIS 60 overlap|
|Sauk City||WIS 60 east / WIS 78 north||Eastern end of WIS 60 overlap; northern end of WIS 78 overlap|
|Dane||Town of Roxbury||WIS 78 south||Southern end of WIS 78 overlap|
|WIS 188 north|
|Town of Springfield||WIS 19 west||Western end of WIS 19 overlap|
|WIS 19 east||Eastern end of WIS 19 overlap|
|250||County M (Century Avenue) / Airport Road|
|251A||US 14 west / University Avenue (CTH-MS) – Spring Green, La Crosse||Western end of US 14 overlap|
|251B||Parmenter Street||Westbound exit only|
|253||Old Sauk Road|
|254||County M / County S (Mineral Point Road)|
|258||US 18 west / US 151 south (Verona Road) / Midvale Boulevard – Dodgeville||Western end of US 18 and US 151 overlaps.|
|258A||Seminole Highway||Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only|
|260||County D||Eastbound exits signed 260A (south) and 260B (north)|
|261||US 14 east / US 151 north (Park St) – Oregon||Eastern end of US 14 and US 151 overlaps|
|263||John Nolen Drive|
|Monona||264||South Towne Drive|
|Madison||266||US 51 (Stoughton Rd)|
|267||I-39 / I-90 to I-94 – Janesville, Chicago, Wis Dells, Milwaukee||Signed as exits 267A (east/south) and 267B (west/north); I-39 / I-90 exit 142|
|Town of Deerfield||WIS 73 north||Western end of WIS 73 overlap|
|Town of Christiana||WIS 73 south||Eastern end of WIS 73 overlap|
|Cambridge||WIS 134 north|
|US 18 east||Eastern end of US 18 overlap|
|Jefferson||Fort Atkinson||WIS 26|
WIS 26 Bus. north (Madison Avenue)
|Northern end of WIS 26 Business overlap|
|WIS 106 (Riverside Drive)|
WIS 26 Bus. south (Robert Street)
|Southern end of WIS 26 Business overlap|
|WIS 89 north||Northern end of WIS 89 overlap|
|Walworth||Whitewater||WIS 59 west / WIS 89 south||Southern end of WIS 89 overlap; western end of WIS 59 overlap|
|WIS 59 east||Eastern end of WIS 59 overlap|
|Town of La Grange||WIS 20 east / WIS 67 north||Northern end of WIS 67 overlap|
|Elkhorn||WIS 67 south||Southern end of WIS 67 overlap|
|321||I-43 / County NN – Beloit, Milwaukee, Elkhorn||Unnumbered exits via collector-distributor lane|
|Lake Geneva||328||WIS 120 north – Burlington, Lake Geneva||Northern end of WIS 120 overlap|
|330||WIS 50 / WIS 120 – Lake Geneva, Paddock Lake, Kenosha||Southern end of WIS 120 overlap; eastbound exits signed 330A (west) and 330B (east)|
|Town of Bloomfield||335||Pell Lake Rd|
|Genoa City||US 12 east – Chicago||Continuation into Illinois|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
Route map: Bing
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- "INDOT: State Farm Sponsorship of Hoosier Helpers". Indiana Department of Transportatoin. June 16, 2009. Retrieved August 15, 2012.
- RoadDog (September 4, 2008). "US 12 In Illinois Gets New Name". American Road Forum. American Road Magazine. Retrieved August 15, 2012.[self-published source]
- Staff (July 31, 2012). "Public Information Meeting #1" (PDF). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 4, 2013.
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- Whisner, Ryan. "Walker Halts Highway 12 Bypass". Daily Union. Retrieved February 25, 2013.
- Staff. "Exit Numbers on US 12". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
|U.S. Route 12|