U.S. Route 51 in Wisconsin

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This article is about the section of U.S. Route 51 in Wisconsin. For the entire length of the highway, see U.S. Route 51.

US Highway 51 marker

US Highway 51
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length: 316.59 mi[1] (509.50 km)
Existed: November 11, 1926 (1926-11-11) – present
Major junctions
South end: US 51 in Beloit
 
North end: US 2 in Hurley
Location
Counties: Rock, Dane, Columbia, Marquette, Waushara, Portage, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Iron
Highway system
WIS 50 WIS 52

U.S. Highway 51 (US 51) in the U.S. state of Wisconsin runs north–south down the central part of the state. It enters from Illinois at Beloit, and runs north to its northern terminus in Hurley where it junctions with US 2. Much of the route of US 51 runs concurrently with Interstate 39 (I-39).

Route description[edit]

From Beloit, US 51 passes through Janesville and Edgerton. US 51 joins with I-39 and I-90 for about five miles (8.0 km) before splitting off and heading west to Stoughton. US 51 then passes through the east side of Madison as a side route, known locally as Stoughton Road, paralleling to the west of I-39/I-90. North of Madison, US 51 parallels the Interstates on the east side passing through De Forest, Leeds, North Leeds, Poynette and Portage. In North Leeds, US 51 has a major junction with Wisconsin Highway 22 (WIS 22) and WIS 60 where US 51 heads west a bit with WIS 60 before splitting back north toward Poynette. The route joins I-39 north of Portage. There is a short concurrency with WIS 23 from Endeavor to WIS 82 near Oxford. They stay joined until I-39 ends at WIS 29. Along the way, the route bypasses the small communities of Endeavor, Packwaukee, Westfield, Coloma, Hancock, Plainfield, Plover, and Whiting prior to arriving at Stevens Point. Proceeding north from Stevens Point, the highway bypasses Knowlton, Mosinee, and Rothschild where I-39 terminates at the WIS 29 east interchange. US 51 continues on with WIS 29 for five miles (8.0 km) bypassing Schofield, then proceeding into Wausau where WIS 29 splits to the west. US 51 continues as a freeway to Merrill, passing Brokaw along the way.

US 51, along with I-39, in northern Wisconsin

The section of US 51 from Portage at its junction with I-39 to Merrill, as well as from County Trunk Highway S (CTH-S) to US 8 in Tomahawk, is built to Interstate Highway standards. In between these freeway segments exists an expressway from Lincoln Drive north of Merrill further north to CTH-S south of Tomahawk with five grade-level intersections. This will eventually be converted to a freeway, making US 51 a continuous freeway from Portage to Tomahawk.[2]

The freeway in the Wausau area was not originally fully up to Interstate standards, but a project to upgrade the freeway to full standards in the area was recently completed.[when?] The upgrades in the Wausau area replaced all of the existing 1963-era low clearance overpasses; upgraded the WIS 29 east, CTH-N, CTH-NN, Sherman Street, WIS 52, and Bridge Street interchanges; and constructed a free-flow interchange for WIS 29 west.

The highway becomes a two-lane road just north of US 8 at the Oneida County line. The highway passes through Minocqua, Manitowish Waters, and Mercer on its northwest trek toward Hurley and its terminus at a junction with US 2.

[3]

History[edit]

US 51's northern terminus at US 2 near Hurley

Prior to 1926, what is now US 51 was State Trunk Highway 10.[4]

US 51 was upgraded to a full freeway over a period of 25 years from Merrill to Portage. The freeway continues around Portage to the west as I-39 (originally as WIS 78) to connect with I-90 and I-94 while US 51 continues along surface roads into and through Portage. In the 1990s, US 51 was designated as I-39 from its junction with WIS 29 eastbound in Wausau to where it left the freeway at exit 92 in Portage. US 51 remained cosigned with I-39 along this entire stretch of road. Further expansion of the highway northward took place in 2000, when the highway was upgraded to an expressway up to CTH-S. In addition, a super-two freeway from CTH-S to US 8 was upgraded to a four-lane freeway.[4]

The Wisconsin mileage of US 51 is designated by the state as the Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.[5]

Exit list[edit]

County Location Mile[1] km Exit Destinations Notes
Rock Beloit 0.00 0.00 US 51 south – Rockford Continuation into Illinois
1.49–
1.50
2.40–
2.41
WIS 81
Town of Rock 10.69–
10.70
17.20–
17.22
WIS 11
Janesville 14.36 23.11 WIS 26 north Southern terminus of WIS 26
13.39 21.55
US 14 Bus. east
Southern end of Bus. US 14 concurrency
13.75 22.13
US 14 Bus. west
Northern end of BUs. US 14 concurrency
Town of Janesville 17.49 28.15 US 14
Edgerton 25.39 40.86 WIS 59
Dane Town of Albion 28.20–
28.61
45.38–
46.04
160 I-39 south / I-90 east – Beloit
WIS 73 north
Southern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency
32.07 51.61 156 I-39 north / I-90 west – Madison Northern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency
Stoughton 39.86 64.15 WIS 138 south Eastern end of WIS 138 concurrency
Town of Dunkirk 40.83 65.71 WIS 138 north Western end of WIS 138 concurrency
McFarland 49.67 79.94 Siggelow Road Interchange
Madison 51.22–
51.23
82.43–
82.45
US 12 / US 18 Exit 266 on US 12/US 18
Town of Blooming Grove 53.75 86.50 Cottage Grove Road Interchange
54.93 88.40 Milwaukee Street Interchange
55.40 89.16 WIS 30 Interchange
Madison 56.28–
56.29
90.57–
90.59
US 151 (Washington Avenue)
Town of Burke 60.61–
60.63
97.54–
97.57
I-39 / I-90 / I-94 Exit 132 on I-39/I-90/I-94
61.70–
61.74
99.30–
99.36
WIS 19
Town of Windsor 63.25 101.79 Windsor Road Dumbbell interchange
Columbia Town of Leeds 71.10 114.42 WIS 22 north Southern terminus of WIS 22
71.54 115.13 WIS 60 east Eastern end of WIS 60 concurrency
Town of Arlington 73.48 118.25 WIS 60 west Western end of WIS 60 concurrency
Town of Dekorra 84.76–
84.84
136.41–
136.54
WIS 16 Southern end of WIS 16 concurrency
Portage 88.98 143.20 WIS 16 west (Wisconsin Street) Northern end of WIS 16 concurrency
89.10 143.39 WIS 33 (Cook Street)
Town of Fort Winnebago 91.94 147.96 92 I-39 south – Madison Southern end of I-39 concurrency
Marquette Town of Moundville 100.38 161.55 100 WIS 23 west / CTH-P – Wisconsin Dells, Endeavor South end of WIS 23 overlap
Town of Oxford 104.56 168.27 104 CTH-D – Packwaukee Northbound exit and southbound entrance
106.72 171.75 106 WIS 23 east / WIS 82 west – Oxford, Montello North end of WIS 23 overlap
Westfield 113.27 182.29 113 CTH-E / CTH-J – Westfield
Waushara Coloma 124.24 199.94 124 WIS 21 – Coloma, Necedah
Town of Hancock 131.30 211.31 131 CTH-V – Hancock
Town of Plainfield 136.85 220.24 136 WIS 73 – Plainfield, Wisconsin Rapids
Portage Town of Pine Grove 140.02 225.34 139 CTH-D – Almond
143.51 230.96 143 CTH-W – Bancroft, Wisconsin Rapids
Town of Plover 150.85 242.77 151
WIS 54 / US 51 Bus. – Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Waupaca
153.45 246.95 153 CTH-B – Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Amherst
156.48 251.83 156 CTH-HH – Whiting
Stevens Point 158.66 255.34 158 US 10 east – Stevens Point, Waupaca, Appleton, Marshfield Signed as exits 158A (east) and 158B (west) northbound; south end of US 10 overlap
Town of Hull 169.84 273.33 159 WIS 66 – Stevens Point, Rosholt
Stevens Point 161.71 260.25 161
US 51 Bus. – Stevens Point
Town of Hull 163.58 263.26 163 Casimir Road
165.70 266.67 165 US 10 west – Marshfield North end of US 10 overlap
Town of Dewey 171.34 275.75 171 CTH-DB – Knowlton, Lake DuBay
Marathon Town of Knowlton 175.79 282.91 175 WIS 34 – Knowlton, Wisconsin Rapids
Mosinee 179.52 288.91 179 WIS 153 – Mosinee, Elderon
Town of Kronenwetter 181.34 291.84 181 Maple Ridge Road
Rothschild 185.47 298.49 185
US 51 Bus. – Rothschild, Wausau, Schofield
Town of Rib Mountain 188.09 302.70 187 WIS 29 east – Weston, Green Bay
I-39 south – Madison
Northern end of I-39 immediately before interchange
189.03 304.21 188 CTH-N (Rib Mountain Drive)
190.64 306.81 190 CTH-NN (North Mountain Road)
Town of Stettin 191.95 308.91 191B Sherman Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance only
Wausau 192.49 309.78 191A WIS 29 west – Abbotsford, Chippewa Falls Northern end of WIS 29 concurrency; northbound ramp exits freeway south of Sherman Street
192.60 309.96 192 WIS 52 (Stewart Avenue)
193.40 311.25 193 Bridge Street
WausauTown of Maine line 194.52–
194.73
313.05–
313.39
194
US 51 Bus. / CTH-U / CTH-K – Wausau
Northern terminus of Bus. US 51
Town of Maine 196.43 316.12 197 CTH-WW – Brokaw
Lincoln Town of Scott 205.19 330.22 205 CTH-Q – Merrill
Town of Pine River 208.39–
208.43
335.37–
335.44
208 WIS 64 / WIS 17 – Merrill, Antigo
Town of Bradley 211.13 339.78 211 CTH-K – Merrill
214.96 345.94 Lincoln Drive At-grade intersection
220.36 354.64 CTH-K (Nelson Drive) At-grade intersection
221.39 356.29 CTH-J – Irma At-grade intersection
222.40 357.92 CTH-V At-grade intersection
223.49 359.67 Tamarack Lane At-grade intersection
225.99 363.70 225 CTH-S – Tomahawk
229.86 369.92 229 WIS 86 / CTH-D – Tomahawk
231.65 372.80 231 CTH-A – Tomahawk
Town of King 234.22 376.94 234 US 8 – Prentice, Rhinelander
Oneida Town of Nokomis 236.16 380.06 Northern end of freeway
Town of Minocqua 260.71 419.57 WIS 70 east Southern end of WIS 70 concurrency
Town of Woodruff 261.39 420.67 WIS 47
Town of Arbor Vitae 263.09 423.40 WIS 70 east Northern end of WIS 70 concurrency
Iron Town of Mercer 288.96 465.04 WIS 47 south Northern terminus of WIS 47
Hurley 315.07 507.06 WIS 77 west (Silver Street) Signed western terminus of WIS 11; Silver Street continues eastward as a state trunk highway to Bus. US 2 at the state line
Town of Kimball 316.44–
316.59
509.26–
509.50
US 2 / LSCT – Ashland, Ironwood Interchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Wisconsin State Trunk Highway Logs:
    • Southwest Region Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log for Southwest Region (XLS). Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 051N. 
    • North Central Region Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log for North Central Region (XLS). Rhinelander, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 051N. 
  2. ^ "Wisconsin Connections 2030: Wausau to Ironwood, Michigan". Retrieved 19 March 2013. 
  3. ^ Google Inc. "Overview Map of U.S. Highway 51 in Wisconsin". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/42.4962496,-89.019876/46.4665534,-90.1950997/@44.5912621,-90.1503588,462819m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m59!4m58!1m55!3m4!1m2!1d-89.0199267!2d42.4969188!3s0x8808a1328cf9d477:0x688f434a366f2d9c!3m4!1m2!1d-89.0368121!2d42.5627404!3s0x88061e15f7a0e2bd:0x533101a80b751db2!3m4!1m2!1d-89.0310784!2d42.6529192!3s0x8806196e67880531:0xe657d57593b4f1f9!3m4!1m2!1d-89.0309096!2d42.712365!3s0x8806175b0c66e397:0xb86b0b7e14736dc4!3m4!1m2!1d-89.0499487!2d42.789632!3s0x8806142e4298a421:0xe44e5d9961a347de!3m4!1m2!1d-89.1935788!2d42.9186088!3s0x880646eb390216df:0xad9bd4509fc30a5!3m4!1m2!1d-89.2962336!2d42.9784854!3s0x88064e5809c42073:0xddc3da1ee1832a8b!3m4!1m2!1d-89.3101035!2d43.0773547!3s0x88065143a31cdcf7:0x24cd5a0570b23851!3m4!1m2!1d-89.3234556!2d43.1464987!3s0x880655d864d6cc33:0x84840e86eb44d19!3m4!1m2!1d-89.3244227!2d43.2665612!3s0x8806fc09b0ff690b:0xb50342659a2784a6!3m4!1m2!1d-89.4004655!2d43.4341383!3s0x88071e28652e15a1:0x52a63963e2341d2d!1m0!3e0. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Bessert, Christopher J. "Highways 50-59 (U.S. Highway 51)". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved 2007-03-20. [self-published source]
  5. ^ "Special Roads". Wisconsin History Explorer. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-01-02. 


U.S. Route 51
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