|Maintained by WisDOT|
|Length:||191.55 mi (308.27 km)|
|Existed:||1981 – present|
|Lake Michigan Circle Tour|
|South end:||I-39 / I-90 / WIS 81 in Beloit|
| US 14 in Darien
US 12 in Elkhorn
US 45 / WIS 100 in Hales Corners
I-41 / I-894 / US 41 / US 45 in Greenfield
I-41 / I-94 / I-894 / US 41 in Milwaukee
I-94 / I-794 in Milwaukee
US 151 / WIS 42 in Manitowoc
US 10 / WIS 42 in Manitowoc
US 10 / WIS 310 in Manitowoc
US 141 in Bellevue
|North end:||I-41 / US 41 / US 141 in Howard|
|Counties:||Rock, Walworth, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Brown|
Interstate 43 (I-43) is a 191.55-mile (308.27 km) Interstate Highway located entirely within the U.S. state of Wisconsin, connecting Interstate 39 and Interstate 90 in Beloit with Milwaukee and Interstate 41, U.S. Route 41 and U.S. Route 141 in Green Bay. Wisconsin Highway 32 shares a concurrency with I-43 in two sections and US 41, U.S. Route 45, Interstate 94, Interstate 894, U.S. Route 10, Wisconsin Highway 57, and Wisconsin Highway 42 overlap I-43 once each. There are no auxiliary or business routes connected to I-43.
I-43 came about as a result of toll road proposals that included a Milwaukee to Superior corridor that included Hurley, Wausau and Green Bay. Only the Milwaukee to Green Bay section was approved. The route was originally planned to follow an alignment about midway between US 41 and US 141 (the latter paralleled Lake Michigan at the time) along Highway 57. Controversy about this location and use of right-of-way led to the establishment of the current alignment, which follows much of what was the 1950s-era realignment of US 141 from Milwaukee to Sheboygan, and a new alignment from Sheboygan to Green Bay. This section was completed in 1981.
The Beloit-to-Milwaukee segment was developed after two separate proposals for Interstates, one of them being between Milwaukee and Beloit and the other between Milwaukee and Janesville. The Milwaukee-Beloit route was chosen, completed in 1976 as WIS 15 and renumbered as I-43 in 1988. To connect the two segments, I-43 was signed concurrently with the east–west segment of I-894 and the north–south portion of I-94 in the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area from I-894 to the Marquette Interchange, which was completely reconstructed with work being completed in 2008.
Wisconsin had anticipated the Interstates with studies of possible toll roads. When the original Interstate system was approved the state was only given two routes: I-90 and I-94. The Wisconsin Transportation Commission submitted a request to add an Interstate in 1953 connecting Milwaukee to Green Bay, a request the FHWA denied. The commission, after a study by Wisconsin Turnpike Commission—which was established in 1953—submitted a request in 1963 for a route that connected Milwaukee and Superior by way of Green Bay, Wausau, Hurley and Ashland which could be completed in increments. However, only the Milwaukee to Green Bay segment was approved. The original plan for the northern part of I-43 was to locate it midway between US 141 and US 41, using most of the current alignment of WIS 57 north of WIS 33 in Saukville. But opposition to the plan by farmers and landowners within the corridor arose. According to the opponents of the I-43 construction, what the commission revealed as their plan to construct I-43 along the WIS 57 corridor did not reveal that instead of using the existing right-of-way, the freeway was to be built 2.25 miles (3.62 km) west of WIS 57. This was the case despite the fact that WIS 57 had a wide right-of-way of 300 feet (91 m). Protests, including farmers bringing their cows to graze on the Wisconsin State Capitol grounds, prompted a compromise to utilize the freeway built for US 141 between Milwaukee and Sheboygan instead, building the remaining freeway for the Interstate itself. This plan, particularly the new freeway, met resistance from the Brown, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc County governments. Construction first began in 1963 on the freeway that was at the time designated US-141. The first segment to begin construction was a 3.4-mile (5.5 km) segment beginning at the Port Washington Road exit in Milwaukee County. An additional ten miles (16 km) of the highway were completed in Ozaukee County by 1964. In 1965, a 9.3-mile (15.0 km) bypass of Sheboygan opened to traffic. The last major segment, consisting of 94.4 miles (151.9 km) of roadway, was started in 1972 after the last of these governments, Manitowoc County, pledged their support. The portion in Milwaukee County extending from the Port Washington Road exit to the Marquette Interchange was completed in 1981 to open the route.
The southwestern portion has also had a history of requests for Interstate routings. Interstate routings for such a connection between Beloit and the Milwaukee metropolitan area were requested by WisDOT but denied by FHWA in 1973. Another request for a link to Janesville was also denied. Despite the denials, local and state officials continued to seek funding to construct a freeway between these two metropolitan areas. A government collaboration called the "Highway 15 Committee" was formed to present and promote the route. Construction began on the route in the 1960s with the first segment, a 0.9-mile (1.4 km) connector linking US 45 with I-894 as part of the project to build the Hale Interchange connecting the pending route with I-894. The new connector received the US 45 designation as that highway was transferred onto the freeway heading north. The first long segment was completed in 1969. It extended from the US 45 "connector" to CTH-F (now WIS 164)in Big Bend. After this segment was opened, the WIS 15 designation was applied. The next segment, to East Troy, was opened in 1972, the year the "Highway 15 Committee" had hoped the route would be completed in its entirety. It was extended to Elkhorn in 1973 in conjunction with the US 12 freeway construction, then to I-90 in 1976. I-43 signs were placed on the freeway by 1988 after designation in 1987, replacing WIS 15. I-43 was also mapped concurrently with I-94 and I-894 to link the two segments together. Even though exit number tabs were labeled according to the new mileposts, the mileposts themselves were not renumbered to coincide with the current length until 1991.
The Marquette Interchange, which connects I-43 with I-94, US 41 and Interstate 794, was completely reconstructed over a four-year span, beginning in October 2004 and ending in September 2008. This project eliminated left-hand exits and widened connecting ramps between I-94 and I-43 to ease congestion problems.
I-43 begins in Rock County as the eastern leg of a cloverleaf interchange with I-39/I-90 just east of Beloit. The highway becomes WIS 81 west of the interchange. The Beloit to Milwaukee segment of I-43 passes mainly through farmland situated on rolling hills, going around urbanized areas except for in the greater Milwaukee area—where the route passes through residential suburban zoning with some embedded industrial establishments. The Interstate bypasses Clinton to the north at WIS 140 and passes into Walworth County five miles (8 km) east of WIS 140. Daily traffic counts as of 2007 for Rock County range from 12400 to 19200 with the higher counts closest to Beloit. The interchange with I-39/I-90 accommodates 1000 to 5200 vehicles daily, with the most traffic on ramps connecting southbound I-39/I-90 to westbound WIS 81 and westbound I-43 to southbound I-39/I-90. I-43 passes north of Darien and crosses US 14 at that point, then junctions with WIS 50 south of Delavan. About 14,000 to 19,200 vehicles use this section daily as of 2006.
In Elkhorn, I-43 junctions with WIS 67, US 12, and WIS 11. The freeway passes through East Troy about ten miles (16 km) northeast of Elkhorn and junctions with WIS 20 and Wisconsin Highway 120. It then enters Waukesha County at Mukwonago. I-43 crosses WIS 83 at an interchange just southeast of the village. After about eight miles (13 km), the highway junctions with WIS 164 just north of Big Bend, and then enters the city of New Berlin where the freeway has interchanges with South Racine Avenue (CTH Y) and South Moorland Road (CTH O). It then turns east to enter Milwaukee County. Traffic volumes range from 21,000 (as of 2006) around Elkhorn to 35,800 (as of 2006) in Waukesha County to 85,000 (2007 figures) at Highway 100.
The Beloit to Milwaukee portion (at the Hale Interchange with I-894) was given the name "Rock Freeway," named because the freeway traverses Rock County and heads towards the cities in the Rock River valley, including Rockford, Illinois. However, the moniker generally only applies to the portion of the route in Waukesha and Milwaukee Counties; freeway names in southeastern Wisconsin media are used interchangeably with interstate numbers. The freeway is entirely four lanes from Beloit to New Berlin. A six-lane segment begins where US 45 merges on the Interstate.
I-43 connects with US 45 south and WIS 100 at South 108th Street. US 45 joins the highway for one mile (1.6 km), then turns northward onto I-894 west and I-41/US 41 south at the Hale Interchange, while I-43 follows I-894 east and I-41/US 41 south along the Airport Freeway into Greenfield, with interchanges with WIS 24, WIS 36 and WIS 241. At the Mitchell Interchange, I-894 ends and I-41/I-94/US 41 continues south while I-43 turns north to follow I-94 northbound, also known as the North–South Freeway, into downtown Milwaukee where it meets I-794 at the Marquette Interchange. The Airport Freeway carries 107,000 to 134,000 vehicles per day (as of 2007). The freeway between the Mitchell and Marquette Interchanges carried less at that time - 97,000 (closer to downtown) to 105,000 The highway passes through mixed urban residential/industrial areas of the greater Milwaukee area, carrying six lanes throughout with the exception of near the Marquette Interchange where eight lanes of traffic exist.
I-43 continues north from the Marquette Interchange, while I-94 turns westward. After passing through downtown Milwaukee, just east of Marquette University, It crosses US 18 at Highland Boulevard and crosses WIS 145 at the McKinley Boulevard/Fond du Lac Avenue interchange. Exit 72C's northbound off and on ramps in downtown Milwaukee pass underneath the county courthouse via tunnels to Kilbourn Avenue. On the way north out of Milwaukee, The Interstate passes through Glendale, junctioning with WIS 190 (Capitol Drive) and WIS 57 (Green Bay Ave), and north of Good Hope Road has a grassy median with a cable barrier. WIS 100 and WIS 32 connect at Brown Deer Road and WIS 32 follows the Interstate north into Ozaukee County. Up to 146,000 vehicles used this portion daily in 2007. This count decreased further north—with a count of 78,900 vehicles per day near WIS 100's northern terminus and 69,600 closer to the Ozaukee County border. As it passes through mixed residential and commercial zones north of downtown, the highway carries eight lanes of traffic downtown, six lanes of traffic north of North Ave to Bender Road, and four lanes of traffic north of Bender road all the way to Green Bay.
WIS 57 joins the freeway three miles (5 km) north of the county line in Mequon at the junction of WIS 167. The urban residential areas thin out north of this point as a mix of farmland and forest begins to dominate. WIS 60 terminates in Grafton at the Interstate seven miles (11 km) further north and WIS 32 turns off toward Port Washington one mile (1.6 km) north of WIS 60. WIS 33 crosses the route in Saukville, Wisconsin. WIS 57 turns north off the freeway, which turns eastward to go around Port Washington to the north. WIS 32 rejoins the freeway on the north side and the two routes follow the Lake Michigan shoreline northeast into Sheboygan County. WIS 32 leaves the freeway at Cedar Grove and the Interstate passes Oostburg to the east and Sheboygan to the west. In Sheboygan, I-43 interchanges with WIS 28, WIS 23, and WIS 42. I-43 enters Manitowoc County nine miles (14 km) north of Sheboygan. Traffic counts in southern Ozaukee County peak at 66,900 vehicles per day (as of 2007), this value generally decreases further north. The counts in Sheboygan County bottom out at 21,100 vehicles per day (as of 2005) just south of the Manitowoc County line.
I-43 passes Cleveland on the county line. The highway continues to follow the lakeshore to straddle Manitowoc's rapidly developing west side, passing west of Newton, Wisconsin, with a weigh station for southbound truck drivers located mid-way between Newton and Cleveland. I-43 connects with US 151 and WIS 42. WIS 42 north follows the freeway north to the interchange with US 10. WIS 42 leaves to the east along with US 10 east, and US 10 west follows I-43 north to the interchange with WIS 310 where it turns off to the west. The Interstate passes Francis Creek and Maribel (at WIS 147) and turns northwestward into Brown County, with a rest stop located just before the county line. I-43 in Manitowoc County has the least traveled portion of the highway with 17,400 vehicles passing south of WIS 147 according to 2005 results. These values increase further south.
The Interstate passes Denmark and meets the terminus of WIS 96 one mile (1.6 km) north of the county line. the Interstate then continues another seven miles (11 km) to Bellevue where US 141 begins. This interchange provides access to WIS 29, a route the freeway crosses under later. At this point, the Interstate enters urban residential areas as it approaches Green Bay. I-43 junctions with WIS 172 in Allouez then turns northeast to bypass Green Bay to the east, passing under the aforementioned WIS 29. After turning northwestward, the Interstate interchanges with WIS 54 and WIS 57 and crosses the Fox River on the Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge, passing through a heavily industrialized area near the Port of Green Bay. I-43 ends at I-41 US 41 and US 141. I-43's lowest traffic volume in this county is at the southernmost entry with a 2006 value of 22,100 vehicles per day near Denmark. Values around Green Bay range from 34,600 to 42,200 vehicles per day.
A multiple-vehicle collision on the northbound lanes of I-43 involving 52 vehicles, killing three and injuring at least 30 others, occurred on the Tower Drive Bridge at 6:45 a.m. March 12, 1990. The cause was a wall of fog with extremely limited visibility near the Fox River on an otherwise clear day.
On October 10, 2002, a multiple-vehicle collision occurred on I-43, just south of Cedar Grove. The accident occurred on southbound I-43 in Sheboygan County just north of the Ozaukee–Sheboygan county line. It involved 50 vehicles and was found to have been caused by low visibility due to fog at a point where the freeway comes its closest to paralleling Lake Michigan, 0.7 miles (1.1 km) from shore. The accident and resulting fires led to the deaths of 10 individuals making this accident the deadliest in Wisconsin history. In addition to the fatalities, 36 people were also injured in the pile-up. According to witnesses at the scene, fire from the wreckage rose over 20–30 feet (6.1–9.1 m) into the air. First responders said many of the bodies they recovered were burned beyond recognition. Then-Sheboygan County Sheriff Loni Koenig said of the accident site, "In my 21 years [of law enforcement], this is the most horrific scene I have ever seen, and I'm sure that it is for many of the people there." The accident has since been described as the worst traffic accident in Wisconsin state history.
|Rock||Beloit||0.00||0.00||1|| I-39 / I-90 – Chicago, Madison
WIS 81 west – Beloit
|Signed as exits 1A (I-39 south/I-90 east) and 1B (I-39 north/I-90 west); roadway continues westward as WIS 81 on Milwaukee Road: I-39/I-90 exit 185|
|Town of Turtle||1.43||2.30||2||County X (Hart Rd)|
|Town of Clinton||6.97||11.22||6||WIS 140 – Clinton, Avalon|
|Walworth||Town of Darien||14.99||24.12||15||US 14 – Janesville, Darien, Whitewater|
|17.92||28.84||17||County X – Delavan, Darien|
|Town of Delavan||21.13||34.01||21||WIS 50 – Delavan, Lake Geneva|
|Elkhorn||25.81||41.54||25||WIS 67 – Elkhorn, Williams Bay|
|Town of Lafayette||27.45||44.18||27||US 12 – Madison, Lake Geneva||Signed as exits 27A (US 12 east) and 27B (US 12 west)|
|28.98||46.64||29||WIS 11 – Elkhorn, Burlington|
|34.04||54.78||33||County D (Bowers Road) – Honey Creek|
|Town of East Troy||36.78||59.19||36||WIS 120 – East Troy, Lake Geneva|
|East Troy||38.54||62.02||38||WIS 20 – East Troy, Waterford|
|Waukesha||Mukwonago||43.84||70.55||43||WIS 83 – Waterford, Mukwonago|
|Big Bend||50.71||81.61||50||WIS 164 (Big Bend Road) – Waukesha, Big Bend|
|New Berlin||54.11||87.08||54||County Y (Racine Avenue) – Muskego|
|57||County O (Moorland Road)|
|58.88||94.76||59||To WIS 100 (Layton Avenue)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|Milwaukee||Greenfield||60.92||98.04||60||US 45 south / WIS 100 (108th Street)||South end of US 45 concurrency; southbound exit and northbound entrance, northbound exit is via exit 59|
|61.09||98.31||61||I-41 north / I-894 west / US 41 north / US 45 north – Fond du Lac, Madison||Hale Interchange; western end of I-41/I-894 concurrency; northern end of US 45 concurrency; signed as exit 4 southbound; concurrency uses I-894 exit numbers|
|62.49||100.57||5||South 76th Street (CTH U), South 84th Street||Signed as exits 5A (South 76th Street) and 5B (South 84th Street); southbound exit is signed as 5B|
|62.78||101.03||5A||WIS 24 west (Forest Home Avenue)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|64.51||103.82||8||WIS 36 (Loomis Road)|
|9||WIS 241 (27th Street)||Signed as exits 9A (WIS 241 south) and 9B (WIS 241 north) southbound|
|I-41 south / I-94 east / US 41 south – Chicago, Airport||Mitchell Interchange; eastern end of I-41/I-894/US 41 concurrency; southern end of I-94 concurrency; signed as exits 10A (I-43 north/I-94 west) and 10B (I-41 south/I-94 east/US 41 south) northbound, and as exits no number (I-94 east/US 41 south) and 316 (I-43 south/I-894 west) westbound; concurrency uses I-94 exit numbers|
|314||Holt Avenue, Howard Avenue||Signed as exits 314A (Holt Avenue) and 314B (Howard Avenue) southbound|
|312||Becher Street, Mitchell Street, Lapham Boulevard, Greenfield Avenue, Lincoln Avenue||Signed as exits 312A (Lapham Boulevard) and 312B (Becher Street) southbound|
|71.26||114.68||311||WIS 59 (National Avenue) / 6th Street|
|71.73||115.44||310C||I-794 – Lakefront||Marquette Interchange; signed as exit 72B southbound; I-794 exit 1|
|71.86||115.65||310B||I-94 west – Madison||Marquette Interchange; signed as exit 72D southbound; northern end of I-94 concurrency|
|72.25||116.28||72A||Michigan Street, 10th Street||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|72.44||116.58||72C||Kilbourn Avenue||Northbound exit only—no access directly from I-43, access is from I-94 eastbound to I-43 northbound ramp|
|72.74||117.06||72E||US 18 (Highland Avenue, 11th Street)||Southbound exit and northbound entrance|
|72.91||117.34||73A||WIS 145 (Fond du Lac Avenue, McKinley Avenue)|
|75||Keefe Avenue, Atkinson Avenue|
|76||WIS 57 / WIS 190 (Capitol Drive, Green Bay Avenue)||Signed as exits 76A (WIS 57/WIS 190 east) and 76B (WIS 57/WIS 190 west) northbound|
|Glendale||76.93||123.81||77||Hampton Avenue||Signed as exits 77A (Hampton Avenue east) and 77B (Hampton Avenue west) northbound; no southbound exit|
|78||Silver Spring Drive, Port Washington Road|
|River Hills||80.13||128.96||80||County PP (Good Hope Rd)|
|Bayside||82.03||132.01||82||WIS 100 west / WIS 32 east (Brown Deer Road)||Signed as exits 82A (WIS 32 east) and 82B (WIS 100 west); southern end of WIS 32 concurrency|
|Ozaukee||Mequon||83.58||134.51||83||County W (Port Washington Road)||Northbound exit and southbound entrance|
|85||WIS 57 south / WIS 167 west (Mequon Road)||Southern end of WIS 57 concurrency|
|Town of Grafton||89.33||143.76||89||County C (Pioneer Road) – Cedarburg|
|Grafton||92.14||148.28||92||WIS 60 west / County Q east – Grafton, Cedarburg, Ulao|
|Town of Grafton||93.56–
|93||WIS 32 north / County V south – Grafton, Port Washington||Northern end of WIS 32 concurrency|
|Saukville||96.66||155.56||96||WIS 33 – Saukville, Port Washington|
|Town of Saukville||97.54||156.98||97||WIS 57 north – Fredonia, Random Lake, Waldo, Plymouth||Northbound exit and southbound entrance; north end of WIS 57 concurrency|
|Town of Port Washington||100.73||162.11||100||WIS 32 south / County H west – Fredonia, Port Washington||South end of WIS 32 concurrency|
|Town of Belgium||107.57||173.12||107||County D – Belgium, Lake Church|
|Sheboygan||Town of Holland||112.82||181.57||113||WIS 32 north – Cedar Grove||Northern end of WIS 32 concurrency|
|116||County AA (Foster Rd) – Oostburg|
|Town of Wilson||120.36–
|120||County V / County OK – Waldo, Sheboygan|
|Town of Sheboygan||123.31–
|123||WIS 28 / County A / County TA – Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls|
|Sheboygan||125.90||202.62||126||WIS 23 – Sheboygan, Plymouth|
|Town of Sheboygan||128.60||206.96||128||WIS 42 – Sheboygan, Howards Grove|
|Town of Mosel||131.50||211.63||131||Rowe Road||Event-only ramp for Whistling Straits; signed as "Golf Event"; southbound entrance, northbound exit|
|Manitowoc||Town of Centerville||137.57||221.40||137||County XX – Kiel, Cleveland|
|Town of Newton||144.17||232.02||144||County C – St. Nazianz, Newton|
|Manitowoc||149.76||241.02||149||US 151 / WIS 42 south – Manitowoc, Fond du Lac||Southern end of WIS 42 concurrency|
|151.72||244.17||152||US 10 east / WIS 42 north / County JJ – Manitowoc||Northern end of WIS 42 concurrency, southern end of US 10 concurrency|
|Town of Manitowoc Rapids||154.75||249.05||154||US 10 west / WIS 310 – Appleton, Two Rivers||Norternh end of US 10 concurrency|
|Town of Kossuth||157.80||253.95||157||County V – Mishicot, Francis Creek|
|160.53||258.35||160||County K – Kellnersville|
|Town of Cooperstown||164.24||264.32||164||WIS 147 / County Z – Maribel, Mishicot, Two Rivers|
|Brown||Denmark||170.83||274.92||171||WIS 96 / County KB – Greenleaf, Denmark|
|Town of Ledgeview||177.99||286.45||178||US 141 / County MM to WIS 29 – Bellevue, Kewaunee|
|Bellevue||180.49||290.47||180||WIS 172 west to I-41 to WIS 32 – A. Straubel Airport|
|181.71||292.43||181||County JJ / Manitowoc Road|
|183||County V / Mason Street|
|185||WIS 54 / WIS 57 (University Avenue) – Sturgeon Bay, Algoma, Green Bay|
|187||Webster Avenue, East Shore Drive|
|Fox River||Leo Frigo Memorial Bridge|
|Green Bay||189.60||305.13||189||Atkinson Drive|
|192||I-41 south / US 41 / US 141 – Marinette, Iron Mountain, Appleton||Signed as exits 192A (US 41/US 141 north) and 192B (I-41/US 41/US 141 south); exit 171 on I-41/US 41/US 141|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
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- "Three Killed in Bridge Crash". Lawrence Journal-World. March 12, 1990. p. 2A. Retrieved May 18, 2013.
- Benson, Dan & Johnson, Mike (December 21, 2008). "Drivers Cite Poor Visibility, Slick Pavement in Pileup". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved June 4, 2011.
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- Regional Logs:
- Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log: Southwest Region. Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
- Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log: Southeast Region. Waukesha, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
- Staff (May 14, 2009). State Trunk Highway Log: Northeast Region. Green Bay, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
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- Daykin, Tom (June 2, 2010). "Work To Begin on I-43 Interchange near Whistling Straits". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
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