U.S. Route 51 in Wisconsin

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U.S. Highway 51

US 51 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length316.59 mi[1] (509.50 km)
ExistedNovember 11, 1926 (1926-11-11)–present
Major junctions
South end US 51 in Beloit
Major intersections
North end US 2 in Hurley
CountryUnited States
CountiesRock, Dane, Columbia, Marquette, Waushara, Portage, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Iron
Highway system
WIS 50 WIS 51
US 10WIS 10 WIS 11

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

Route description

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

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. US 51 stays joined with I-39 until the Interstate 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.[2]

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.[2] This will eventually be converted to a freeway, making US 51 a continuous freeway from Portage to Tomahawk.[3]

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 just shy of the Michigan border.[2]


US 51's northern terminus at US 2 near Hurley, June 2012

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

US 51 was widened 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 widened to an expressway up to CTH-S. In addition, a super-two freeway from CTH-S to US 8 was widened to a four-lane freeway.[4]

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

Exit list

US 51 south – South Beloit, Rockford
Continuation into Illinois

WIS 81 to I-39 / I-90
Town of Rock10.69–
WIS 11 – Brodhead, Monroe, Delavan
WIS 26 north (Centerway Street)
Southern terminus of WIS 26

Bus. US 14 east
Southern end of Bus. US 14 concurrency

Bus. US 14 west
Northern end of Bus. US 14 concurrency
Town of Janesville17.4928.15

US 14 / Alt. I-39 south / Alt. I-90 east – Evansville, Chicago
Southern end of Alt. I-39/Alt. I-90 concurrency
Edgerton25.3940.86 WIS 59 – Evansville, Milton
DaneTown of Albion28.20–

I-39 south / I-90 east – Chicago

WIS 73 north / Alt. I-39 north / Alt. I-90 west – Deerfield
Northern end of Alt. I-39/Alt. I-90 concurrency; southern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency

I-39 north / I-90 west – Madison
Northern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency
WIS 138 south – Cooksville
Southern end of WIS 138 concurrency
Town of Dunkirk40.8365.71
WIS 138 north – Oregon
Northern end of WIS 138 concurrency
McFarland49.6779.94Siggelkow RoadInterchange

US 12 / US 18 / Alt. I-39 south / Alt. I-90 east
Southern end of Alt. I-39/Alt. I-90 concurrency; US 12 exit 266
Town of Blooming Grove53.7586.50 CTH-BB (Cottage Grove Road)Interchange
54.9388.40Milwaukee Street / Corporate DriveInterchange; Corporate Dr. not signed northbound

WIS 30 east / Alt. I-94 east

WIS 30 west (Aberg Avenue)
Southern end of Alt. I-94 concurrency; WIS 30 exit 1C
US 151 (Washington Avenue)
Town of Burke60.61–
I-39 / I-90 / I-94 – Janesville, Wisconsin DellsI-90 exit 132
61 WIS 19 – Sun Prairie, WaunakeeSouth end of freeway
Town of Windsor63.25101.7963Windsor RoadDumbbell interchange
DeForest65 CTH-V – DeForestNorth end of freeway
ColumbiaTown of Leeds71.10114.42
WIS 22 north – Wyocena, Pardeeville
Southern terminus of WIS 22
WIS 60 east – Columbus
Eastern end of WIS 60 concurrency
Town of Arlington73.48118.25
WIS 60 west – Arlington, Lodi
Western end of WIS 60 concurrency
Town of Dekorra84.76–

WIS 16 east – Columbus
Southern end of WIS 16 concurrency

WIS 16 west (Wisconsin Street) / Alt. I-39 north / Alt. I-90 west / Alt. I-94 west – Wisconsin Dells
Northern end of WIS 16/Alt. I-39/Alt. I-90/Alt. I-94 concurrency
89.10143.39 WIS 33 (Cook Street) – Baraboo, Fox Lake
Town of Fort Winnebago91.94147.96
I-39 south – Madison
Southern end of I-39 concurrency; I-39 exit 92
MarquetteTown of Moundville100.38161.55100
WIS 23 west / CTH-P – Wisconsin Dells, Endeavor
South end of freeway section; southern end of WIS 23 overlap
Town of Oxford104.56168.27104 CTH-D – PackwaukeeNorthbound exit and southbound entrance

WIS 23 east / WIS 82 west – Oxford, Montello
Northern end of WIS 23 overlap
Westfield113.27182.29113 CTH-E / CTH-J – Westfield
WausharaColoma124.24199.94124 WIS 21 – Coloma, Necedah
Town of Hancock131.30211.31131 CTH-V – Hancock
Town of Plainfield136.85220.24136 WIS 73 – Plainfield, Wisconsin Rapids
PortageTown of Pine Grove140.02225.34139 CTH-D – Almond
143.51230.96143 CTH-W – Bancroft, Wisconsin Rapids
Town of Plover150.85242.77151
WIS 54 (Post Road) / Bus. US 51 – Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Waupaca
Southern terminus of Bus. US 51
Village of Plover153.45246.95153 CTH-B (Plover Road) – Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Amherst
156.48251.83156 CTH-HH (McDill Avenue) – Whiting, Stevens Point
Stevens Point158.66255.34158
US 10 east – Stevens Point, Waupaca, Appleton
Signed as exits 158A (east) and 158B (west) northbound; south end of US 10 overlap
Town of Hull159.84257.24159 WIS 66 – Stevens Point, Rosholt
Stevens Point161.71260.25161
Bus. US 51 – Stevens Point
Northern terminus of Bus. US 51
Town of Hull163.58263.26163Casimir Road
US 10 west – Marshfield
North end of US 10 overlap
Town of Dewey171.34275.75171 CTH-DB – Knowlton, Lake DuBay
MarathonTown of Knowlton175.79282.91175 WIS 34 – Knowlton, Wisconsin Rapids
Mosinee179.52288.91179 WIS 153 – Mosinee, Elderon
Town of Kronenwetter181.34291.84181Maple Ridge Road
Bus. US 51 – Rothschild, Wausau, Schofield
Southern terminus of Bus. US 51
Town of Rib Mountain188.09302.70187
WIS 29 east – Weston, Green Bay

I-39 ends
Northern terminus of I-39; northern end of I-39 concurrency
189.03304.21188 CTH-N (Rib Mountain Drive)
190.64306.81190 CTH-NN (North Mountain Road)
StettinWausau line191.95–
WIS 29 west – Abbotsford, Chippewa Falls
Northern end of WIS 29 concurrency
191BSherman StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
192.60309.96192 WIS 52 (Stewart Avenue)
Wausau193.40311.25193Bridge Street
WausauMaine line194.52–
CTH-K / CTH-U (Merrill Avenue) / Bus. US 51 – Wausau
Signed as exits 194A (CTH-U/Merrill Ave.) and 194B (Bus. US 51/CTH-K) northbound; CTH-U (Merrill Ave.) signed northbound only; northern terminus of Bus. US 51
Maine196.43316.12197 CTH-WW – Brokaw
LincolnTown of Scott205.19330.22205 CTH-Q – Merrill
Town of Pine River208.39–
208 WIS 64 / WIS 17 – Merrill, Antigo
Town of Bradley211.13339.78211 CTH-K – Merrill
214.96345.94Lincoln DriveAt-grade intersection; north end of freeway
225.99363.70225 CTH-S – TomahawkSouth end of freeway
229.86369.92229 WIS 86 / CTH-D – Tomahawk
231.65372.80231 CTH-A – Tomahawk
Town of King234.22376.94234 US 8 – Prentice, RhinelanderNorth end of freeway
OneidaTown of Minocqua260.71419.57
WIS 70 west – Fifield
Southern end of WIS 70 concurrency
Town of Woodruff261.39420.67 WIS 47 – Lac du Flambeau, Rhinelander
VilasTown of Arbor Vitae263.09423.40
WIS 70 east – Eagle River
Northern end of WIS 70 concurrency
IronTown of Mercer288.96465.04

WIS 47 south / WIS 182 west – Lac du Flambeau, Park Falls
Northern terminus of WIS 47; eastern terminus of WIS 182
WIS 77 west (Silver Street) – Montreal, Mellen
Eastern terminus of WIS 77
Town of Kimball316.44–
US 2 / LSCT – Ashland, Superior, IronwoodRoundabout; former interchange; northern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b Wisconsin State Trunk Highway Logs:
    • Southwest Region Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log for Southwest Region (XLS). Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 051N.
    • North Central Region Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log for North Central Region (XLS). Rhinelander: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 051N.
  2. ^ a b c Google (June 25, 2014). "Overview Map of U.S. Highway 51 in Wisconsin" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  3. ^ "Wisconsin Connections 2030: Wausau to Ironwood, Michigan" (PDF). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 16, 2013. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Bessert, Christopher J. "Highways 50-59 (U.S. Highway 51)". Wisconsin Highways. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2007.
  5. ^ "Special Roads". Wisconsin History Explorer. Wisconsin Historical Society. Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2008.

External links

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