Wisconsin Highway 16

From the AARoads Wiki: Read about the road before you go
Jump to navigation Jump to search

State Trunk Highway 16

WIS 16 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length193.2 mi[1] (310.9 km)
Major junctions
West end US 14 / US 61 / MN 16 in La Crosse
Major intersections
East end I-94 in Waukesha
CountryUnited States
CountiesLa Crosse, Monroe, Juneau, Sauk, Columbia, Dodge, Jefferson, Waukesha
Highway system
WIS 15 WIS 17

State Trunk Highway 16 (often called Highway 16, STH-16 or WIS 16) is a Wisconsin state highway running from Pewaukee across the state to La Crosse. Much of its route in the state parallels the former mainline of the Milwaukee Road and current mainline of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Interstate 90 (I-90) or I-94 parallels Highway 16 for most of its length in the state. It serves local traffic in nearby cities including La Crosse, Tomah, Wisconsin Dells, Portage, Columbus, Watertown, Oconomowoc and Waukesha. The highway is mainly two-lane surface road or urban multi-lane expressway from La Crosse to Oconomowoc, and it is a freeway east of Oconomowoc.

Route description

Onalaska, Wisconsin with Wisconsin Highway 16 going through it

WIS 16 enters from Minnesota via a connection with Trunk Highway 16 on the Mississippi River, running concurrently with US Highway 14 (US 14) and US 61. After the two US Highways turn south to follow 3rd Street in downtown La Crosse, WIS 16 passes through La Crosse via Cass Street, 7th Street and La Crosse Street, crossing WIS 35 at La Crosse Street and Lang Drive. WIS 16 passes the northern edge of the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse campus, then turns north at Losey Boulevard.[2]

The route then turns northeastward and junctions with I-90 six miles (9.7 km) northeast of the city. WIS 16 becomes a parallel route to I-90 and passes through West Salem where it connects with WIS 108. Wisconsin Highway 162 junctions just north of Bangor. WIS 16 crosses into Monroe County in Rockland.[3] WIS 16 enters Sparta and junctions with WIS 21, WIS 27, and WIS 71. WIS 16 provides access to the Elroy-Sparta State Bike Trail.

The route then follows I-90 very closely as a frontage road to Tomah where it junctions with WIS 131 and joins US 12. The highways continue paralleling I-90 and I-94 southeast and pass through Oakdale and into Juneau County.[4]

The freeway section of Highway 16, looking East from the Ryan Street overpass in Pewaukee, Wisconsin

WIS 16 and US 12 pass through Camp Douglas and cross WIS 80 in New Lisbon. The highways then junction with WIS 58 and WIS 82 in Mauston as they continue southeast. The routes slowly trek eastward and pass through Lyndon Station where Rocky Arbor State Park is located. The highways turn southeast again and crossing the Interstates and into Sauk County and Wisconsin Dells.[5]

WIS 16 turns east off of US 12 onto WIS 13 north and passes through downtown Wisconsin Dells and into Columbia County. WIS 23 East also joins the highways at the same point.[6] WIS 16 turns off from WIS 13 and WIS 23 on the east side of Wisconsin Dells and junctions with WIS 127 one mile (1.6 km) southeast of town. WIS 16 follows the Wisconsin River into Portage, meeting the other terminus of WIS 127 at the interchange with I-39.

The highway then passes through Portage, crossing WIS 33 and joining US 51 south for five miles (8.0 km). WIS 16 turns east off the US route and crosses WIS 22 in Wyocena and passes through Rio, Doylestown and Fall River. WIS 60 joins WIS 16 and together, they cross US 151, WIS 73 and junction with WIS 89 in Columbus as they enter Dodge County.[7]

WIS 16 and WIS 60 turn east and pass through the unincorporated town of Astico and Lowell. WIS 16 leaves WIS 60 and joins WIS 26 at the junction of the two highways in Clyman. WIS 16 leaves WIS 26 and bypasses Watertown to the north and east and into Jefferson County.[8] WIS 19 terminates on WIS 16 east of Watertown.

WIS 16 passes around Ixonia, becomes an expressway, and enters Waukesha County along a bypass of Oconomowoc.[9] WIS 67 joins the expressway north of Oconomowoc. WIS 16 turns east onto the freeway segment and passes into Hartland, crossing WIS 83 there. WIS 190, also known as Capitol Drive, terminates at WIS 16 as the freeway turns south in Pewaukee. WIS 16 ends at a flyover interchange and its traffic merges onto I-94 east near Waukesha.[10]


State Trunk Highway 29

LocationLa Crosse to Clyman

U.S. Highway 16

LocationLa Crosse to Milwaukee

In 1918, today's alignment of WIS 16 was WIS 21 from La Crosse to New Lisbon, along with WIS 12 east of Tomah. The route from Kilbourn (Wisconsin Dells) to Clyman was WIS 29. WIS 26 followed its current alignment to Watertown and the route from Watertown to Waukesha was WIS 19.[11] WIS 29 was extended westward to La Crosse when WIS 21 was truncated back to north of New Lisbon. When the U.S. Routes debuted in 1926, WIS 29 was removed from the books as the entire alignment was replaced by US 16.[12] WIS 19 was truncated back to its current terminus.

The current eastern terminus of WIS 16 was the site of the dedication ceremonies for the first completed segment of I-94 in Wisconsin. The segment was opened on September 4, 1958. The first major interchange on the new Interstate was originally where US 16 turned north towards Pewaukee and WIS 30 continued west with I-94. The section of US 16 between the interchange outside of Waukesha and downtown Milwaukee was truncated at the interchange in the 1960s. US 16's designation was removed from the route and replaced with the current WIS 16 in 1978.[13]

The original WIS 16 followed present day WIS 29 from Chippewa Falls to Green Bay via Wausau and Shawano. The route then followed a route that would become US 141 to Manitowoc where it ended at then WIS 17 (present day WIS 42).[1]

Oconomowoc bypass

The alignment of the eastern section of Highway 16 changed in late 2006 when the rest of the Oconomowoc bypass was opened to traffic. The four-lane, limited access divided highway routes Highway 16 around Lac La Belle on the west side of the city, meeting up with WIS 67 north of downtown. Eventually, the bypass will result in the removal of the state highway designation from Wisconsin Avenue through downtown Oconomowoc.

The signs for Highway 16 through downtown Oconomowoc have not yet been changed, due to the reconstruction of Wisconsin Avenue through the downtown area during the summer of 2008.[14] As of November 2008, Oconomowoc officials and WisDOT had not yet set a firm date for the jurisdictional transfer, though it was likely that it will be done by the summer of 2009.[15]

Currently, the limited-access highway around Oconomowoc is designated as Wisconsin Highway 16 on signage. Some signage, especially the signs located at the end of the freeway segment on West Highway 16 when a right turn must be made to continue on the bypass, say Bypass West Wisconsin Highway 16.[16]

Major intersections

La CrosseLa Crosse0.00.0

US 14 west / US 61 north / MN 16 west / I-90 Alt. west – La Crescent
Minnesota state line (La Crosse West Channel Bridge)
1.01.6Mississippi River Bridge over the Mississippi River

US 14 east / US 61 south / US 53 / Great River Road south (3rd Street) / I-90 Alt. – Viroqua, Cashton
One-way street; eastern end of US 14/US 61/GRR concurrency; national southern terminus of SB US 53; I-90 Alt. follows US 53 (3rd St.); eastern end of WB I-90 Alt. concurrency
US 14 / US 61 / Great River Road (4th Street)One-way street, inbound access only; western end of EB US 14 west/US 61/GRR north concurrency

US 14 west / US 61 north / US 53 / Great River Road north (3rd Street north) / I-90 Alt. east – Onalaska, La Crescent
One-way streets, outbound access only; eastern end of EB US 14 west/US 61/GRR north concurrency; national southern terminus of NB US 53; I-90 Alt. follows US 53/GRR north (3rd St.)
2.64.2 WIS 35 (Lang Drive/West Avenue)
5.79.2 CTH-B (Gillette Street) / Sunset LaneWestern end of CTH-B concurrency
6.510.5 CTH-B / Coneco Road – Barre Mills, La Crosse River State TrailEastern end of CTH-B concurrency
OnalaskaHoliday HeightsInterchange
La Crosse7.111.4

WIS 157 west / Alt. I-90 west – Onalaska, Airport
Western end of Alt. I-90 concurrency
Onalaska8.313.4 I-90 – Minnesota, Madison, AirportExit 5 along I-90
West Salem14.222.9
CTH-C / Alt. I-90 (Leonard Street North)
Western end of CTH-C concurrency
Town of Hamilton14.623.5
WIS 108 north / CTH-C – Mindoro, Melrose
Eastern end of CTH-C concurrency
Town of Burns18.529.8
WIS 162 north – Melrose
Western end of WIS 162 concurrency

WIS 162 south / Alt. I-90 – Bangor
Eastern end of WIS 162 concurrency

WIS 27 / WIS 71 west / Alt. I-90 (Black River Street) – Black River Falls, Cashton
Western end of WIS 21/WIS 71 concurrency
WIS 21 east (Water Street) – Fort McCoy, Business District
Eastern end of WIS 21 concurrency
Town of Angelo29.547.5
WIS 71 east – Norwalk
Eastern end of WIS 71 concurrency
30.649.2 I-90 – Tomah, Madison, La CrosseExit 28 along I-90

US 12 west / WIS 131 south / Alt. I-90 / Alt. I-94 west (Superior Avenue) – Black River Falls, Wilton, Amtrak Station
Western end of US 12/Alt. I-94 concurrency
I-90 / Alt. I-94 – Madison, La Crosse
Exit 43 along I-90

CTH-N / CTH-PP / Alt. I-90 / Alt. I-94 (Oakwood Street)
JuneauCamp Douglas57.091.7 CTH-C / CTH-H – Camp DouglasWestern end of CTH-C/CTH-H concurrency
57.392.2 CTH-H / Castle StreetEastern end of CTH-H concurrency

CTH-C to I-90 / I-94 – Camp Williams, Volk Field
Eastern end of CTH–C concurrency
New Lisbon63.3101.9

WIS 80 north / CTH-A / Alt. I-90 / Alt. I-94 (Bridge Street) – Necedah
Western end of WIS 80 concurrency
WIS 80 south (Monroe Street) – Elroy, Elroy-Sparta State Trail, The "400" State Trail
Eastern end of WIS 80 concurrency
Mauston70.9114.1Division StreetFormer WIS 58 south/WIS 82 west/CTH-G

WIS 58 / WIS 82 / CTH-G (Union Street) to I-90 / I-94
Lyndon Station82.2132.3

CTH-HH to I-90 / I-94
Town of Lyndon88.7142.7 I-90 / I-94 – Tomah, MadisonExit 85 along I-90 / I-94
SaukWisconsin Dells90.4145.5 CTH-AWestern end of CTH-A concurrency

US 12 east / WIS 23 west / CTH-A / Alt. I-90 east / Alt. I-94 east – Lake Delton

WIS 13 south / Alt. I-90 / Alt. I-94 – Madison
Eastern end of US 12/CTH-A/Alt. I-90/Alt. I-94 concurrency; western end of WIS 13/WIS 23 concurrency

WIS 13 north / WIS 23 east / Alt. I-39 north – WIS Rapids, Montello
Eastern end of WIS 13/WIS 23/Alt. I-39 concurrency
Town of Newport94.0151.3
WIS 127 east – Briggsville

I-39 / WIS 127 west to I-90 / US 51 / WIS 78 – Stevens Point, Merrimac, Madison, Briggsville, Columbia Correctional Institution
I-39 exit 89; western end of Alt. I-90 concurrency
109.1175.6MacFarlane RoadWestern end of WIS 16 east/US 51 south concurrency
109.3175.9 WIS 33 (Cook Street)

US 51 north (DeWitt Street) to WIS 33 east
Western end of WIS 16 west/US 51 north concurrency
Town of Pacific113.7183.0

US 51 south / Alt. I-39 south / Alt. I-90 east – Madison
Eastern end of US 51/Alt. I-39/Alt. I-90 concurrency
Wyocena118.7191.0 WIS 22 – Wyocena, MadisonInterchange
Town of Fountain Prairie132.2212.8
WIS 146 north – Cambria
WIS 60 west – Arlington, Lodi
Western end of WIS 60 concurrency
136.6219.8 US 151 – Beaver Dam, Sun Prairie, MadisonInterchange; US 151 exit 118
WIS 73 (Ludington Street) to WIS 89
DodgeTown of Clyman152.2244.9

WIS 26 north / WIS 60 east – Juneau, Hustisford
Interchange; eastern end of WIS 60 concurrency; western end of WIS 26 concurrency; WIS 26 exit 52
Town of Emmet160.0257.5

WIS 26 south (Bus. WIS 16 east) / Bus. WIS 26 begins – Watertown
Interchange; eastern end of WIS 26 concurrency; western end of Bus. WIS 26 concurrency; WIS 26 exit 45

Bus. WIS 26 south to CTH-L – Watertown
Interchange; eastern end of Bus. WIS 26 concurrency
JeffersonTown of Watertown164.4264.6

WIS 19 west / Bus. WIS 16 west – Watertown
Interchange; westbound exit and eastbound entrance
WaukeshaTown of Oconomowoc175.6282.6
WIS 67 north – Oconomowoc, Mayville
Interchange; western end of WIS 67 concurrency

WIS 67 south / Alt. I-94 west to I-94 – Downtown Oconomowoc
Interchange; eastern end of WIS 67 concurrency; west end of Alt. I-94 overlap; west end of freeway
Okauchee Lake180.3290.2176 CTH-P (Brown Street) / Gifford Road
181.8292.6178 CTH-P (Sawyer Road)
Nashotah183.3295.0179 CTH-C – Nashotah, Delafield
town line
WIS 83 / Alt. I-94 – Delafield, Chenequa
Hartland186.3299.8182 CTH-E / CTH-KC – Hartland, MertonEastbound exit and westbound entrance
186.9300.8183 CTH-KC / CTH-E – Hartland, MertonEastbound entrance and westbound exit
City of Pewaukee188.0302.6184 CTH-JK / CTH-KE (Jungbluth Road / North Shore Drive)
190.2306.1186 CTH-KF (Ryan Street)
Village of Pewaukee191.7308.5187 WIS 190 (Capitol Drive)
City of Pewaukee192.5309.8188
CTH-JJ / CTH-T to Main Street west / I-94
I-94 east – Milwaukee
Eastern terminus; I-94 exit 293C;
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Related routes

Watertown business loop

Business plate.svg

Business State Trunk Highway 16

HistoryEstablished as Bus. US 16 in 1961[18][19]

Business State Trunk Highway 16 (Bus. WIS 16) follows a former alignment of US 16 through downtown Watertown. The route travels south along Bus. WIS 26 (North Church Street) and east along WIS 19 (Main Street). It was created as Business U.S. Highway 16 (Bus. US 16) in 1961, when US 16 was re-routed onto a bypass of Watertown.[18][19]


  1. ^ a b Bessert, Chris. "Highways 10-19". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  2. ^ Google (January 16, 2008). "La Crosse, WI" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  3. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). La Crosse Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  4. ^ Monroe Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. January 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  5. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). Juneau Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  6. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). Sauk Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  7. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). Columbia Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  8. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). Dodge Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 15, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  9. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). Jefferson Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  10. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (January 2006). Waukesha Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 15, 2007. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  11. ^ Wisconsin Highway Commission (1918). Official Map of the State Trunk Highway System of Wisconsin (PDF) (Map). [c. 1:1,010,000]. Madison: Wisconsin Highway Commission. OCLC 38871736, 69119995. Retrieved January 16, 2008 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  12. ^ Rand McNally (1926). "Wisconsin (Southern)" (Map). Rand McNally Auto Road Atlas. Scale not given. Chicago: Rand McNally. Retrieved January 16, 2007.
  13. ^ Special Committee on U.S. Route Numbering (June 29, 1978). "Route Numbering Committee Agenda Showing Action Taken by the Executive Committee" (PDF) (Report). Washington, DC: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. p. 3. Retrieved September 2, 2015 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  14. ^ Rinard, Amy. "Oconomowoc Road Work Near: Highway 16 Affected Through Downtown; Merchants Prepared". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  15. ^ Inda, Matthew. "Highway 16 Transfer Date Uncertain: Might Be Jan. 1; Touchups, Roadside Plantings to Be Completed". Oconomowoc Focus. Retrieved November 19, 2008.[dead link]
  16. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "Oconomowoc Bypass Project page". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on April 4, 2007. Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  17. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "Highway 16 Exit Numbers". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on April 4, 2007. Retrieved March 30, 2007.
  18. ^ a b State Highway Commission of Wisconsin (1961). Wisconsin Highway Map (PDF) (Map). c. 1:538,560. Madison: State Highway Commission of Wisconsin. OCLC 221945165, 506588105. Retrieved February 2, 2022 – via Wikimedia Commons.
  19. ^ a b State Highway Commission of Wisconsin (1962). Wisconsin Highway Map (PDF) (Map). c. 1:538,560. Madison: State Highway Commission of Wisconsin. OCLC 12359573. Retrieved February 2, 2022 – via Wikimedia Commons.

External links