U.S. Route 51 in Wisconsin

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).

US Highway 51 marker

US 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
North end US 2 in Hurley
CountiesRock, Dane, Columbia, Marquette, Waushara, Portage, Marathon, Lincoln, Oneida, Vilas, Iron
Highway system
WIS 50WIS 52

Route descriptionEdit

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. They stay joined until I-39 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.

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

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

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.[3]


US 51's northern terminus at US 2 near Hurley

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

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

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

Exit listEdit

RockBeloit0.000.00  US 51 south – South Beloit, RockfordContinuation into Illinois
  WIS 81 (White Avenue)
Town of Rock10.69–
  WIS 11 – Brodhead, Monroe, Delavan
Janesville14.3623.11  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 – Evansville, Chicago
Edgerton25.3940.86  WIS 59 – Evansville, Milton
DaneTown of Albion28.20–
160   I-39 south / I-90 east – Chicago
  WIS 73 north – Deerfield
Southern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency
32.0751.61156   I-39 north / I-90 west – MadisonNorthern end of I-39/I-90 concurrency
Stoughton39.8664.15  WIS 138 south – CooksvilleEastern end of WIS 138 concurrency
Town of Dunkirk40.8365.71  WIS 138 north – OregonWestern end of WIS 138 concurrency
McFarland49.6779.94Siggelkow RoadInterchange
   US 12 / US 18Exit 266 on US 12/US 18
Town of Blooming Grove53.7586.50  CTH-BB (Cottage Grove Road)Interchange
54.9388.40Milwaukee StreetInterchange
55.4089.16  WIS 30Interchange
  US 151 (Washington Avenue)
Town of Burke60.61–
    I-39 / I-90 / I-94 – Madison, Wisconsin DellsExit 132 on I-39/I-90/I-94
61  WIS 19 – Sun Prairie, Waunakee
Town of Windsor63.25101.7963Windsor RoadDumbbell interchange
DeForest65  CTH-V – DeForest
ColumbiaTown of Leeds71.10114.42  WIS 22 north – Wyocena, PardeevilleSouthern terminus of WIS 22
71.54115.13  WIS 60 east – ColumbusEastern end of WIS 60 concurrency
Town of Arlington73.48118.25  WIS 60 west – Arlington, LodiWestern end of WIS 60 concurrency
Town of Dekorra84.76–
  WIS 16 east – ColumbusSouthern end of WIS 16 concurrency
Portage88.98143.20  WIS 16 west (Wisconsin Street) – Wisconsin DellsNorthern end of WIS 16 concurrency
89.10143.39  WIS 33 (Cook Street) – Baraboo, Fox Lake
Town of Fort Winnebago91.94147.9692  I-39 south – MadisonSouthern end of I-39 concurrency
MarquetteTown of Moundville100.38161.55100   WIS 23 west / CTH-P – Wisconsin Dells, EndeavorSouth end of WIS 23 overlap
Town of Oxford104.56168.27104  CTH-D – PackwaukeeNorthbound exit and southbound entrance
106.72171.75106   WIS 23 east / WIS 82 west – Oxford, MontelloNorth 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 / Bus. US 51 – Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Waupaca
153.45246.95153  CTH-B – Wisconsin Rapids, Plover, Amherst
156.48251.83156  CTH-HH – Whiting
Stevens Point158.66255.34158  US 10 east – Stevens Point, Waupaca, AppletonSigned as exits 158A (east) and 158B (west) northbound; south end of US 10 overlap
Town of Hull169.84273.33159  WIS 66 – Stevens Point, Rosholt
Stevens Point161.71260.25161 
  Bus. US 51 – Stevens Point
Town of Hull163.58263.26163Casimir Road
165.70266.67165  US 10 west – MarshfieldNorth 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
Town of Rib Mountain188.09302.70187  WIS 29 east – Weston, Green Bay
  I-39 south – Madison
Northern end of I-39 immediately before interchange
189.03304.21188  CTH-N (Rib Mountain Drive)
190.64306.81190  CTH-NN (North Mountain Road)
Town of Stettin191.95308.91191BSherman StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
Wausau192.49309.78191A  WIS 29 west – Abbotsford, Chippewa FallsNorthern end of WIS 29 concurrency; northbound ramp exits freeway south of Sherman Street
192.60309.96192  WIS 52 (Stewart Avenue)
193.40311.25193Bridge Street
city/village line
    Bus. US 51 / CTH-U / CTH-K – Wausau
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
220.36354.64  CTH-K (Nelson Drive)At-grade intersection
221.39356.29  CTH-J – IrmaAt-grade intersection
222.40357.92  CTH-VAt-grade intersection
223.49359.67Tamarack LaneAt-grade intersection
225.99363.70225  CTH-S – Tomahawk
229.86369.92229   WIS 86 / CTH-D – Tomahawk
231.65372.80231  CTH-A – Tomahawk
Town of King234.22376.94234  US 8 – Prentice, Rhinelander
OneidaTown of Nokomis236.16380.06Northern end of freeway
Town of Minocqua260.71419.57  WIS 70 west – FifieldSouthern 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 RiverNorthern end of WIS 70 concurrency
IronTown of Mercer288.96465.04   WIS 47 south / WIS 182 west – Lac du Flambeau, Park FallsNorthern terminus of WIS 47; Eastern terminus of WIS 182
Hurley315.07507.06  WIS 77 west (Silver Street) – Montreal, MellenSigned eastern terminus of WIS 77; Silver Street continues eastward as a state trunk highway to Bus. US 2 at the state line
Town of Kimball316.44–
   US 2 / LSCT – Ashland, IronwoodInterchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Wisconsin State Trunk Highway Logs:
    • Southwest Region Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log for Southwest Region (XLS). Madison, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 051N.
    • North Central Region Staff (December 31, 2008). State Trunk Highway Log for North Central Region (XLS). Rhinelander, WI: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 051N.
  2. ^ "Wisconsin Connections 2030: Wausau to Ironwood, Michigan" (PDF). Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  3. ^ Google (June 25, 2014). "Overview Map of U.S. Highway 51 in Wisconsin" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Bessert, Christopher J. "Highways 50-59 (U.S. Highway 51)". Wisconsin Highways. Retrieved 2007-03-20.[self-published source]
  5. ^ "Special Roads". Wisconsin History Explorer. Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-01-02.

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