Wisconsin Highway 29

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State Trunk Highway 29 marker

State Trunk Highway 29
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length: 307.35 mi[1] (494.63 km)
Major junctions
West end: US 10 / WIS 35 in Prescott
 
East end: WIS 42 in Kewaunee
Location
Counties: Pierce, St. Croix, Dunn, Chippewa, Clark, Marathon, Shawano, Brown, Kewaunee
Highway system
WIS 28 WIS 30

State Trunk Highway 29 (often called Highway 29, STH-29 or WIS 29) is a state highway running east–west across central Wisconsin. It is a major east–west corridor connecting the Twin Cities and the Chippewa Valley with Wausau and Green Bay. A multi-year project to upgrade the corridor to a four-lane freeway or expressway from Elk Mound to Green Bay was completed in 2005. The expansion served to improve safety on the route, which was over capacity as a two-lane road. The remainder of WIS 29 is two-lane surface road or urban multi-lane road.

Route description[edit]

Eastern terminus in Kewaunee

Prescott to Elk Mound[edit]

WIS 29 passes through Pierce, St Croix and Dunn Counties in this section. The highway begins at its western terminus at U.S. Highway 10 (US 10), on the north side of Prescott. From this point, WIS 29 follows WIS 35 northeast to River Falls, passing the University of Wisconsin–River Falls campus. At the junction with WIS 65, WIS 35 turns northbound with WIS 65 while WIS 29 continues east. WIS 29 joins briefly with US 63 west of Spring Valley[2] and turns eastbound upon its split one mile (1.6 km) south to head into Spring Valley.[3] Upon leaving Spring Valley and Pierce county, the route heads northward into St Croix County and turns east towards Menomonie. WIS 29 does not pass through any municipalities while in this county, but it does cross WIS 128.[4]

Upon entering Dunn County, the route passes through rural terrain and enters Menomonie's west side as Hudson Rd. The route turns northward onto Main street and passes west and north of the University of Wisconsin–Stout campus. WIS 29 turns east onto Stout Road along with US 12 and leaves the city to the east.[5] The two routes proceed east for about 9 miles (14 km) and junction with Interstate 94. This interchange is the westernmost point of the multi-lane WIS 29 corridor.[6] It is also the westernmost point of WIS 29 as a backbone route in Corridors 2020.[7]

Elk Mound to Wausau[edit]

Between Elk Mound and Wausau, WIS 29 passes through Dunn, Chippewa, Clark and Marathon counties. West of County T, the route is an expressway. The route passes into the Chippewa Valley metropolitan area and south of Chippewa Falls as a Freeway and crosses U.S. Route 53 at a cloverleaf interchange in Lake Hallie.[8] WIS 29 junctions with the southern terminus of WIS 178 southeast of Chippewa Falls then passes to the south of Lake Wissota State Park before crossing under WIS 27 in Cadott. WIS 29 passes south of Boyd and Stanley before exiting the county to the east.[8]

In Clark County, WIS 29 meets WIS 73 in Thorp. the two routes exit the village to the east concurrently and WIS 73 splits to the south in Withee about 10 miles (16 km) east. WIS 29 continues east and passes south of Owen and Curtiss. At Abbotsford, WIS 29 and WIS 13 meet at a partial cloverleaf interchange between Abbotsford and Colby on the Clark and Marathon county line.[8] Twelve miles east of Abbotsford, WIS 29 and WIS 97 meet at a diamond interchange. This is a key route for travelers between Wausau and Marshfield. East of this junction, WIS 29 follows a straight route that passes Edgar and meets WIS 107 at a diamond interchange on the north side of Marathon City, approximately 8 miles west of Wausau. WIS 29 enters Wausau as a freeway, junctions with the western terminus of WIS 52 approx. 1/2 mile west of US 51 at an eastbound off/westbound on style half-interchange. WIS 29 then immediately enters the new US 51 interchange, and turns south onto and follows US 51 for five miles (8 km), bypassing the downtown area to the south.[9]

Wausau to Green Bay[edit]

WIS 29 Interchange on I-39 and US 51

This stretch of the highway passes through Marathon, Shawano, Outagamie and Brown Counties. South of Wausau, WIS 29 turns off US 51 to the east at the northern terminus of I-39 and continues as freeway, passing through the villages of Rothschild and Weston. The freeway section ends at Ringle. As an expressway, the highway passes just south of Hatley and turns southeast for about four miles (6 km) before turning east again at the northern terminus of WIS 49.[9]

Flyovers completed at 29-41 interchange in 2014 as part of the US 41 project.

The highway enters Shawano County about one mile (1.6 km) east of this junction.[9] WIS 29 passes north and around Wittenberg. US 45 joins with the highway north of Wittenberg and the two routes run concurrently to where US 45 splits to the south at about two miles (3 km) east of the village. WIS 29 bypasses Tilleda and Thornton on the way towards Shawano At Shawano, the expressway becomes a freeway at the junction with County MMM (WIS 29 Business) and turns southeast to bypass Shawano to the south, diamond interchanges link the highway with WIS 22 and WIS 47 North / WIS 55 North as it pass south of the city. WIS 47 South and WIS 55 South follow WIS 29 east. WIS 47 splits to the south at the diamond interchange junction with WIS 117 south of Bonduel. WIS 29 (along with WIS 55) then returns to an expressway at the junction with County BE (WIS 29's former route). WIS 55 splits to the south at the diamond interchange junction with WIS 160 at Angelica and WIS 29 heads southeast to its junction with WIS 156 at the Brown County line.[10]

About one mile (1.6 km) into Brown County, WIS 29 collects WIS 32 eastbound at the diamond interchange with County Y. WIS 29 very briefly passes through the northeast corner of Outagamie County and enters the village of Howard. The multilane expressway and the Backbone Corridor route end at US 41.[7][11] WIS 32 turns south onto US 41 as WIS 29 continues into Green Bay as Shawano Avenue.[12]

Green Bay to Kewaunee[edit]

This section of the highway passes through Brown and Kewaunee Counties. In downtown Green Bay, WIS 29 turns north onto South Monroe Avenue for 4 blocks, joining with WIS 54 and turns east onto Main Street, splitting from WIS 54 and joining US 141 to leave the city to the southeast. The highways passes over I-43 without an interchange. WIS 29 splits to the east from US 141 at about 1-mile (1.6 km) north of US 141's southern terminus at I-43 in Bellevue. This provides the only access from I-43 to WIS 29. The highway passes through Poland and Henrysville as it exits Brown County to the east.[11] In Kewaunee County, WIS 29 passes due east through Pilsen and north of Krok as a two lane road. The highway ends in downtown Kewaunee at WIS 42 on the shores of Lake Michigan.[13]

History[edit]

Prior to 1926, WIS 29 was numbered WIS 116 from Minnesota to Chippewa Falls, WIS 16 from Chippewa Falls to Bellevue, and WIS 146' from Bellevue to Kewaunee. WIS 16 continued southeast from Bellevue along what became US 141 in 1926 to Manitowoc. What had been WIS 29 before 1926 became US 16 across the state.[14]

WIS 29 has long been known as "Bloody 29"[15] because of the prevalence of grisly fatal traffic crashes along significant portions of the highway. In 1988, a study was commissioned to examine upgrading the highway to a 4-lane divided highway. The changes would be made along 203 miles (327 km) of road from I-94, 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Elk Mound, to US 41 in Howard (suburban Green Bay). The final segment of the highway, connecting the east side of Chippewa Falls with the segment running north of Eau Claire, was opened to traffic on August 16, 2005. Of the total length, about 65 miles (105 km) of the highway meets Interstate standards.[16] Most of the expansion was able to be completed with only minor additions to the already-existing easements, and as a result, the expanded roadway almost exactly matches the highway's original course. While traffic crashes have declined significantly, numerous memorials to those who lost their lives on the road still dot the route.

WIS 29 is the only Wisconsin state highway in WisDOT's Corridors 2020 Backbone Routes system.[7]

The portion of WIS 29 between Chippewa Falls and Abbotsford roughly follows what used to be the Yellowstone Trail.[17][18]

In 2007, the improvements to WIS 29 won a Wonders of Wisconsin Engineering Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Wisconsin Chapter. Four firms (Ayres Associates, Strand Associates, CH2M Hlll and Earth Tech) were honored for their work on the project in the chapter's 50th anniversary award program.

Current status[edit]

The US 51/WIS 29 expansion project is now completed in the Wausau area.[19] This project has expanded the portions of WIS 29 that are co-signed with US 51 from four lanes to six lanes and reconstructed interchanges along the route to allow for higher bridge clearances, and higher capacity on/off ramps. The southern interchange where WIS 29 turns east from I-39/US 51 was rebuilt from a trumpet interchange to a Y-interchange and was completed in late 2006.

The northern interchange where WIS 29 turns west off of US 51 is now fully open to traffic. It was rebuilt from a standard diamond interchange with traffic signals at the ramp terminals into a free flowing Y interchange with flyover ramps immediately south of the old interchange, which is now used for WIS 52 alone. On September 17, 2010, the final ramp connecting WIS 29 eastbound to US 51 northbound opened to traffic. Other upgrades to WIS 29 in the Wausau area include the segment from Wausau to Marathon City, where most at grade access has been removed, along with the construction of a new diamond interchange at County O. The paved center median was replaced with a concrete barrier median, and the speed limit raised to 65 mph. This project was completed in late 2013.[19]

As part of the massive US 41 project, WIS 29 has been undergoing upgrades in Brown County, beginning at County J in the Village Of Howard, proceeding east to US 41. The new WIS 29/US 41 Interchange opened to traffic in late 2014. The original diamond interchange was replaced with a "free-flow" freeway-to-freeway Y style interchange to allow for uninterrupted travel between the two highways. The upgrades also included an interchange at County EB/Packerland Dr./Cardinal Ln and a grade separated overpass at County J. Work has also begun on upgrading WIS 29 to freeway status from Packerland Drive westerly to the Brown/Shawano County Line. In summer 2014, a brand new diamond interchange was opened along WIS 29 at County FF; the intersection of WIS 29 and Sunlite Dr/Woodland Dr was closed, and "J" turns were constructed as safety enhancements at County VV and County U until funding can be secured to construct an interchange at the former and an overpass at the later of these intersections.[19]

Future[edit]

WisDOT is studying options for WIS 29 conversions to Interstate Highway standards in these sections:

In Dunn County, studies are now being conducted on the reconstruction of the WIS 29/I-94 interchange. The objective is to provide a free-flow interchange between the two freeways, similar to the US 51/WIS 29 interchange in Wausau, and the US 41/WIS 29 interchange in Green Bay. This will be the final link in the WIS 29 project, with direct freeway to freeway interchanges at the three major junctions along the route.[20]

The section between I-94 and County Highway X's eastern exit is already designated as a freeway by WisDOT—despite the existence of several at-grade intersections between US 53 and I-94. WisDOT is studying options for upgrade of these intersections as part of the study. WisDOT is also studying options for upgrades to the highway to a freeway further east to Bruce Mound Avenue in Clark County.[16]

The second section—between Wittenberg (US 45) and Green Bay (US 41) is also undergoing a study for planned upgrades of the highway to freeway standards. As it stands now, the Shawano bypass is the only section that is a freeway. The study is geared toward upgrading the rest of the section to Interstate standards.[21] Early plans in Shawano County would see interchanges constructed at County D (Tilleda), Leopolis Road, County U, County MMM/Bus. WIS 29 (Shawano/Thornton), and County F (Zachow); as well as overpasses built at Nightengale Road west of Wittenberg, County D/Rock Road, Rangeline Road west of Thornton, Broadway Road, Main Laney Drive, and St. Augustine Road/WIS 156 at the Shawno–Brown county Line.[19]

The third section—between Ringle (County Q) and Wittenberg (US 45) is at the preliminary stages for freeway upgrades. WisDOT is currently focusing on preserving right-of-way access for future upgrades. Early plans call for overpasses at Hilltop Road and County D; as well as an interchange at WIS 49 in eastern Marathon County. [22]

The stretch from Wausau to Marathon City saw upgrades in 2013. Future improvements to this stretch still include an overpass at 152nd Avenue. As of December 2011, WisDOT has proposed plans for eventual freeway conversion for the segment of WIS 29 from WIS 13 easterly to WIS 107. Included is an interchange with County E, as well as overpasses at County F, County M, and County S.

Major intersections[edit]

County Location mi km Exit[23] Destinations Notes
Pierce Prescott 0.00 0.00 US 10 south / WIS 35 Western end of WIS 35 concurency
River Falls WIS 35 north / WIS 65 Eastern end of WIS 35 concurrency
Martell US 63
St. Croix Spring Valley WIS 128
Dunn Menomonie US 12 west / WIS 25 Western end of US 12 concurrency
Elk Mound 60 I-94 – Madison, St Paul Western end of four-lane expressway; signed as exits 60A and 60B
61 US 12 east / WIS 40 – Colfax, Elk Mound Eastern end of US 12 concurrency
Chippewa Chippewa Falls 69 County T
72
WIS 29 Bus. (90th Avenue)
75 US 53 – Eau Claire, Superior Signed as exits 75A (US 53 south) and 75B (US 53 north)
79
WIS 29 Bus. / WIS 178 – Chippewa Falls
Lake Wissota 80 County X – Lake Wissota State Park Westbound entrance and eastbound exit only
81 County J – Lake Wissota Westbound exit and eastbound entrance only
87 County X – Lake Wissota State Park Eastbound signage omits Lake Wissota State Park
Cadott 91 WIS 27 – Cadott, Augusta
Boyd 97 County D – Boyd
Stanley 101 County H / County X – Stanley
Clark Thorp 108 WIS 73 north / County M – Thorp
Withee 118 WIS 73 south / County T – Withee, Neillsville
Owen County DD – Owen At-grade intersection
122 County X (Cardinal Avenue) – Owen
Curtiss 127 County E – Curtiss
Abbotsford 131
WIS 29 Bus. – Abbotsford
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance only
Marathon 132 WIS 13 – Colby, Abbotsford
134
WIS 29 Bus. – Abbotsford
County F – Cherokee At-grade intersection
Wien 145 WIS 97 – Athens, Marshfield
County M – Wien At-grade intersection
Edgar 150 County H – Edgar
County S – Rib Falls At-grade intersection
Marathon City 156 WIS 107 – Marathon City, Merrill
Wausau 159 County O – North South
Wausau 162 72nd Avenue
164 WIS 52 (Stewart Avenue)
US 51 north – Merrill
Northern end of US 51 concurrency; signed as exits 164A (WIS 52, Stewart Avenue) and 164B (US 51 north); signed as exit 192 on US 51; concurrency follows UB 51's exit numbers
191 Sherman Street Northbound exit and southbound entrance only
Town of Rib Mountain 190 County NN (North Mountain Road)
188 County N (Rib Mountain Drive)
170 I-39 south / US 51 south – Stevens Point, Madison Southern end of US 51 concurrency; northern terminus of I-39; exit 187 on I-39/US 51
Rothschild 171
US 51 Bus. – Rothschild, Schofield
Weston 173 County X (Camp Phillips Road) – Weston
177 County J – Weston
Ringle 181 County Q – Ringle
Hatley 185 County Y – Hatley
Elderon WIS 49 – Elderon
Shawano Wittenberg 195
US 45 north / WIS 29 Bus. / County M – Antigo, Wittenberg
Western end of US 45 concurrency
196
WIS 29 Bus. / County Q – Wittenberg
Eastbound entrance and westbound exit only
198
US 45 south / WIS 29 Bus. / County Q – Clintonville, Wittenberg
Easter end of US 45 concurrency; eastbound signage omits Bus. WIS 29, County Q, and Wittenberg
County J – Tigerton At-grade intersection
Tilleda County D north – Tilleda At-grade intersection
County G south At-grade intersectoin
County D south – Leopolis, Pella At-grade intersection
Thornton County U – Gresham At-grade intersection

WIS 29 Bus. / County MMM – Shawano
At-grade intersection
Shawano 225 WIS 22 / County CC – Shawano, Clintonville
227
WIS 47 north / WIS 55 north / County K / WIS 29 Bus. – Shawano
Western end of WIS 47/WIS 55 concurrency
Bonduel 234 WIS 47 / WIS 117 – Bonduel, Appleton Eastern end of WIS 47 concurrency
County BE – Bonduel At-grade intersection; formerly WIS 29
Angelica County F At-grade intersection
242 WIS 55 / WIS 160 – Pulaski, Seymour Eastern end of WIS 55 concurrency
Brown Pittsfield WIS 156 – Pittsfield At-grade intersection
Oneida 249 WIS 32 / County V – Pulaski, Gillett Northwestern end of WIS 32 concurrency
County U At-grade intersection
Green Bay County C (Marley Street) At-grade intersection
Greenfield Avenue At-grade intersection
County EB (Packerland Drive) At-grade intersection
I-41 / US 41 south – Marinette, Appleton Southwestern end of WIS 32 concurrency; exit 169 on US 41; eastern end of WIS 32 expressway
US 141 north / WIS 54 / WIS 57 Western end of US 141 concurrency
Bellevue US 141 south Eastern end of US 141 concurrency
Poland County T
Henrysville County P
Kewaunee Pilsen County V
Stangelville County AB Former WIS 163
Kewaunee WIS 42 Eastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Business routes[edit]

WIS 29 has four business routes:

  • Business WIS 29 in Chippewa Falls
  • Business WIS 29 in Abbotsford
  • Business WIS 29 in Wittenberg
  • Business WIS 29 in Shawano

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff. "The National Highway Planning Network". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 2, 2007. 
  2. ^ Google (December 25, 2007). "US 63 to US 63" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  3. ^ Pierce Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  4. ^ St. Croix Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  5. ^ Google (December 25, 2007). "Hudson Road, Menomonie, Wisconsin" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  6. ^ Dunn Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b c Corridors 2020 routes: Backbones and Connectors (PDF) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b c Chippewa Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  9. ^ a b c Marathon Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  10. ^ Shawano Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b Brown Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  12. ^ Google (December 25, 2007). "Shawano Ave, Green Bay" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  13. ^ Kewaunee Co. (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  14. ^ Original State Trunk Highway System in Wisconsin (Map). Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. 1918. Retrieved January 10, 2008. 
  15. ^ Bessert, Christopher J. "Highways 20-29". Retrieved February 3, 2012. [self-published source]
  16. ^ a b Staff. "WIS 29 Freeway Conversion Study". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007. 
  17. ^ "The Yellowstone Trail in Chippewa County Wisconsin". Yellowstone Trail Association. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  18. ^ "The Yellowstone Trail in Clark County Wisconsin". Yellowstone Trail Association. Retrieved December 25, 2007. 
  19. ^ a b c d Staff. "US 51/WIS  29 Project". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007. 
  20. ^ "I-94 (Red Cedar River-WIS 29)". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 
  21. ^ Staff (September 2005). "WIS 29 Preservation Plan: Wittenberg to Green Bay" (PDF). Project Newsletter. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2007. 
  22. ^ Staff. "WisDOT Schedules WIS 29 Public Information Meeting" (Press release). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007. [dead link]
  23. ^ Staff. "Exit Numbers on WIS 29". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007. 

External links[edit]