Wisconsin Highway 23

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State Trunk Highway 23 marker

State Trunk Highway 23
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length211.05 mi[1] (339.65 km)
Major junctions
South end WIS 11 / CTH-P in Shullsburg
  US 151 in Mineral Point
US 151 in Dodgeville
US 18 in Dodgeville
US 14 / WIS 60 in Spring Green
I-90 / I-94 in Lake Delton
US 12 / WIS 13 / WIS 16 in Wis. Dells
I-39 / US 51 / WIS 82 in Oxford
I-41 / US 41 in Fond du Lac
US 45 in Fond du Lac
US 151 in Fond du Lac
I-43 in Sheboygan
East end WIS 28 / WIS 42 in Sheboygan
Location
CountiesLafayette, Iowa, Sauk, Columbia, Adams, Marquette, Green Lake, Fond du Lac, Sheboygan
Highway system
WIS 22WIS 24

State Trunk Highway 23 (often called Highway 23, STH 23 or WIS 23) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. The route is signed as a north–south route from Shullsburg to Wisconsin Dells and as an east–west route from Wisconsin Dells to Sheboygan. With the exception of freeway segments between Sheboygan Falls and Sheboygan, an expressway segment between Sheboygan Falls and near Greenbush, a freeway concurrency with I-39, and an expressway segment concurrent with U.S. Route 151, the highway is generally either two-lane surface road or urban multilane arterial. WIS 23 provides access to several important Wisconsin destinations, such as the House on the Rock, the Wisconsin Dells area and various state parks.

Route description[edit]

Shullsburg to Wisconsin Dells[edit]

WIS 23 begins at WIS 11 in Lafayette County, five miles (8 km) east of Shullsburg, and passes north through Darlington. WIS 23 shares one mile (1.6 km) of road with WIS 81 starting at Avon, just south of the city, and ending in Darlington. WIS 23 passes through rolling hills in the town of Willow Springs and enters Iowa County ten miles (16 km) north of the city.[2] From the county line, WIS 23 turns northwestward to Mineral Point. WIS 39 joins the route one mile (1.6 km) southeast of the city, and turns west off in the downtown area. WIS 23 turns northeast and joins US 151 for a four-mile (6 km) expressway concurrency. WIS 23 turns off US 151 at a trumpet interchange and passes through downtown Dodgeville. The highway junctions with WIS 191 in the city and crosses US 18 on the north side. Access to Governor Dodge State Park is provided off WIS 23.[3] The highway passes the House on the Rock nine miles (14 km) north of Dodgeville.[4] WIS 23 passes Tower Hill State Park at the Sauk County line.[3]

WIS 23 passes through Spring Green upon entering Sauk County and crosses US 14 just north of the village. The highway passes through Plain about six miles (10 km) north of US 14 and Loganville another eleven miles (18 km) further north. WIS 154 joins the route in Loganville. then turns off the route to the east three miles (5 km) further north.[5]

Wisconsin Dells to Sheboygan[edit]

After another four miles (6 km), WIS 23 joins WIS 33 and becomes an east–west route in Reedsburg and follows the route east for six miles (10 km), before turning off northeast and stair-stepping in that direction toward Lake Delton. The highway passes through Mirror Lake State Park just prior to entering the village via Monroe Avenue.[6] WIS 23 joins US 12 west and both routes turn north into the heart of the Wisconsin Dells tourism district along Wisconsin Dells Parkway north[6] – passing attractions such as Noah's Ark Waterpark[7] the Wisconsin Ducks boat tours,[8] and Tommy Bartlett's Thrill Show[9] WIS 23 turns at the junction with WIS 13 and WIS 16 with both routes following it eastbound along Broadway Street through downtown Wisconsin Dells and into Columbia County[5][10]

WIS 13 turns north and WIS 16 turns south just east of the city and WIS 23 turns north into Adams County two miles (3 km) east of Wisconsin Dells.[11] The highway then turns east, passing near Big Spring on the way into Marquette County after a six-mile (10 km) journey through Adams County.[12] WIS 23 stairsteps northeast to Endeavor where it joins I-39/US 51 for six miles (10 km) before turning east off the interstate five miles (8 km) east of Oxford. WIS 23 passes through Montello and has a brief cosign with WIS 22 before turning northeast and entering Green Lake County six miles (10 km) northeast of Montello.[13]

WIS 23 joins WIS 73 on the west side of Princeton. They head east along Main Street then south along Fulton Street before leaving the city. They continue to be cosigned heading east for another 3 miles before WIS 73 turns south to head to Randolph and Columbus. WIS 23 passes north of Green Lake and is joined by WIS 49 northeast of the city. There is a Business 23 that uses Lawson Dr in Green Lake. The highway concurrency of 23 and 49 enters Fond du Lac County two miles (3 km) east of Green Lake.[14] 23 and 49 continue heading southeast to Ripon. On the southeast side of Ripon, WIS 49 South, along with WIS 44 South, cuts south toward Brandon, Markesan and Waupun. WIS 44 has a short cosign with WIS 23 on the eastside of Ripon before it cuts north to Pickett and Oshkosh. WIS 23 continues east, crossing WIS 26 in Rosendale. As the highway enters Fond du Lac, it junctions with I-41 and becomes Johnson St., the main east–west thoroughfare through the city. WIS 23 crosses US 45 in the city center and US 151 on the east side. After a twelve-mile (19 km) rural stretch from Fond du Lac, WIS 23 enters Sheboygan County[15] The route passes near Greenbush about four miles (6 km) into the county, then becomes a freeway about two miles (3 km) northwest of Plymouth. Around Plymouth, access is provided to CTH C, WIS 67, CTH E, and WIS 57. In Sheboygan Falls, an interchange is present at WIS 32.[16] WIS 23 junctions with I-43 at a cloverleaf interchange just west of Sheboygan. The freeway segment ends a mile east of Interstate 43 at North 25th Street, with an exit at Taylor Drive. WIS 23 follows Kohler Memorial Drive and the straight-line portion of Erie Ave into the city, continuing as a divided highway until three blocks before its termination at WIS 28 south and WIS 42 north.[17] Erie Avenue continues undesignated for about .9 of a mile east, until coming to an end at a cul-de-sac a block west of Lake Michigan, overlooking Broughton Drive.

The three-highway terminus in Sheboygan; Highway 23 starts going west from the Starbucks location shown in this picture.

History[edit]

The original 1918 routing of WIS 23 ended the route on the western terminus at Packwaukee at its junction with WIS 10. The route to the east of that point still exists as it is today.[18] The route was extended in the early 1920s to the southwest,[1] following its present routing from Packwaukee through Kilbourn (present day Wisconsin Dells), Reedsburg and Dodgeville, then along present day US 151 from Dodgeville to Dubuque, Iowa via Mineral Point and Platteville.[19] Later in that decade, the route was truncated back to Dodgeville when US 118 was signed, but then extended again – this time along its current route when US 118 became part of US 151.[1]

WIS 23 was relocated in the Sheboygan area to bypass Plymouth and Sheboygan Falls. Plans for this existed as early as 1972.[20] Grading for the old alignment is still visible to the southwest of the current WIS 23/I-43 interchange, and the rest of the old alignment is still in use today as Greenfield Drive.

Proposals were considered that would have rerouted WIS 23 around Lake Delton by following CTH H from Reedsburg directly to Wisconsin Dells, but the village of Lake Delton did not support the plan due to pressure from local businesses.[1]

Future[edit]

WisDOT is currently studying the possible expansion of WIS 23 from Fond du Lac to Plymouth to a four-lane expressway. An Environmental Impact Statement draft was presented in 2004 and the bypass route that follow the existing alignment was chosen in 2005.[21] Construction[22] of the expansion was scheduled to begin in 2015, but was delayed by a lawsuit by an environmental group which prevents delegation of federal funds until resolved, along with political issues involving the state transportation budget. A new environmental study was compiled, filed and approved in October 2018[23], and construction will begin on the conversion and expansion in April 2019, continuing to the fall of 2022.[24]

Major intersections[edit]

CountyLocationmikmExitDestinationsNotes
LafayetteTown of Shullsburg WIS 11 / CTH-P – Shullsburg, Dubuque, Gratiot, Monroe
Darlington WIS 81 west – PlattevilleSouthern end of WIS 81 overlap
WIS 81 east (Louisa St)Northern end of WIS 81 overlap
IowaTown of Mineral Point WIS 39 east – HollandaleSouthern end of WIS 39 overlap
Mineral Point WIS 39 west – LindenNorthern end of WIS 39 overlap
Town of Mineral Point US 151 south – Platteville, DubuqueSouthern end of US 151 overlap
Town of Dodgeville US 151 north – MadisonNorthern end of US 151 overlap
Dodgeville WIS 191 east (Division St)
US 18 – Prairie du Chien, Madison
Town of Dodgeville WIS 130 north – Lone Rock
SaukSpring Green US 14 east – Mazomanie, MadisonSouthern end of US 14 overlap
WIS 60 east – Sauk CitySouthern end of WIS 60 overlap
US 14 west / WIS 60 west – Lone Rock, Richland CenterNorthern end of US 14 and WIS 60 overlaps
Loganville WIS 154 west (Walnut St)Southern end of WIS 154 overlap
Town of Reedsburg WIS 154 east – Rock SpringsNorthern end of WIS 154 overlap
Reedsburg WIS 33 west (Main St)Southern end of WIS 33 overlap
ReedsburgExcelsior
town line
WIS 136 east – Rock Springs
Town of Excelsior WIS 33 east – BarabooNorthern end of WIS 33 overlap
Lake Delton I-90 / I-94 – Tomah, Madison
US 12 east – Baraboo, MadisonSouthern end of US 12 overlap
Wisconsin Dells US 12 west / WIS 13 south / WIS 16 west – Madison, Lyndon Station, MaustonNorthern end of US 12 overlap; directional signage change; western end of WIS 13 and WIS 16 overlaps
Columbia WIS 13 north / WIS 16 east – Wis Rapids, PortageEastern end of WIS 13 and WIS 16 overlaps
Adams
No major junctions
MarquetteTown of Moundville100 I-39 south / US 51 south – PortageWestern end of I-39 and US 51 overlap
OxfordPackwaukee
town line
104 CTH-D – Packwaukee
106 I-39 north / US 51 north / WIS 82 west – Oxford, Stevens PointEastern end of I-39 and US 51 overlap
Montello WIS 22 south – PardeevilleWestern end of WIS 22 overlap
WIS 22 north – WautomaEastern end of WIS 22 overlap
Green LakePrinceton WIS 73 north – WautomaWestern end of WIS 73 overlap
Town of Princeton WIS 73 south – RandolphEastern end of WIS 73 overlap
Green Lake WIS 49 north – BerlinWestern end of WIS 49 overlap
Fond du LacRipon WIS 44 south / WIS 49 south (Metomen St)Eastern end of WIS 49 overlap, western end of WIS 44 overlap
WIS 44 north (Douglas St)Eastern end of WIS 49 overlap
Rosendale WIS 26 – Oshkosh, Waupun
Fond du Lac I-41 / US 41 / US 45 south – Green Bay, MilwaukeeWestern end of US 45 overlap
US 45 north (Main St)Eastern end of US 45 overlap
US 151 – Manitowoc, Madison
SheboyganTown of Plymouth CTH-C – Plymouth
WIS 67 – Elkhart Lake, Plymouth
Plymouth WIS 57 – Kiel, Plymouth
Town of Sheboygan Falls WIS 32 – Howards Grove, Sheboygan Falls
Kohler CTH-Y – Kohler
I-43 – Green Bay, Milwaukee
Sheboygan CTH-TA (Taylor Dr)
WIS 28 / WIS 42 / LMCT (14th St)
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map:

KML is from Wikidata
  1. ^ a b c d Bessert, Chris. "Wisconsin Highways: Highways 20-29 (Highway 23)". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  2. ^ Lafayette Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  3. ^ a b Iowa Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  4. ^ Google (2008-01-09). "House on the Rock Tours to Dodgeville, WI, United States of America" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  5. ^ a b Sauk Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  6. ^ a b Google (2008-01-09). "Lake Delton, WI, United States of America" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  7. ^ "Noah's Ark Waterpark Wisconsin Dells". Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  8. ^ "Original Wisconsin Ducks, Wisconsin Dells". Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  9. ^ "Tommy Bartlett Show". Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  10. ^ Google (2008-01-09). "Wisconsin Dells, WI, United States of America" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  11. ^ Columbia Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  12. ^ Adams Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  13. ^ Marquette Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  14. ^ Green Lake Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  15. ^ Fond du Lac Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-10.
  16. ^ Sheboygan Co (pdf) (Map). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  17. ^ Google (2008-01-09). "Sheboygan, WI, United States of America" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 2008-01-09.
  18. ^ "Original State Trunk Highway System in Wisconsin". Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. 1918. Retrieved 2008-01-08.
  19. ^ "Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas". Rand McNally. 1926. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
  20. ^ "More Pros Than Noes For 23". The Sheboygan Press. 1972-08-23.
  21. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "WIS 23 expansion study". Retrieved 2008-03-31.
  22. ^ "WIS 23 Expansion Project – Schedule". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved 26 May 2014.
  23. ^ Yang, Pafoua (15 October 2018). "DOT: Hwy. 23 expansion a go". WLUK-TV. Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  24. ^ Marina Affo and Diana Dombrowski (28 March 2018). "State 23 expansion: A look back at the 20-year project that looks like it's finally happening". The Sheboygan Press. Retrieved 16 April 2019.