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State Trunk Highway 29 (often called Highway 29, STH-29 or WIS 29) is a state highway running east–west across central Wisconsin. It is a major east–west corridor connecting the Twin Cities and the Chippewa Valley with Wausau and Green Bay. A multi-year project to upgrade the corridor to a four-lane freeway or expressway from Elk Mound to Green Bay was completed in 2005. The expansion served to improve safety on the route, which was over capacity as a two-lane road. The remainder of WIS 29 is two-lane surface road or urban multi-lane road.

State Trunk Highway 29 marker

State Trunk Highway 29
Route information
Maintained by WisDOT
Length307.35 mi[1] (494.63 km)
Major junctions
West end US 10 / WIS 35 in Prescott
East end WIS 42 in Kewaunee
CountiesPierce, St. Croix, Dunn, Chippewa, Clark, Marathon, Shawano, Brown, Kewaunee
Highway system
WIS 28WIS 30

Route descriptionEdit

Prescott to Elk MoundEdit

WIS 29 begins at its western terminus at U.S. Highway 10 (US 10), on the north side of Prescott. From this point, WIS 29 follows WIS 35 northeast to River Falls, passing the University of Wisconsin–River Falls campus. At the junction with WIS 65, WIS 35 turns northbound with WIS 65 while WIS 29 continues east. WIS 29 joins briefly with US 63 west of Spring Valley[2] and turns eastbound upon its split one mile (1.6 km) south to head into Spring Valley.[3] Upon leaving Spring Valley and Pierce County, Wisconsin, the highway heads northwardward into St. Croix County and turns east towards Menomonie. WIS 29 does not pass through any municipalities while in this county, but it does cross WIS 128.[4]

Upon entering Dunn County, the route passes through rural terrain and enters Menomonie's west side as Hudson Road. The highway turns northward onto Main Street and passes west and north of the University of Wisconsin–Stout campus. WIS 29 turns east onto Stout Road along with US 12 and leaves the city to the east.[5] US 12/WIS 29 proceeds east for about nine miles (14 km) and junctions with Interstate 94 (I-94). This interchange is the westernmost point of the multi-lane WIS 29 corridor.[6] It is also the westernmost point of WIS 29 as a backbone route in Corridors 2020.[7]

Elk Mound to WausauEdit

West of County Highway T (CTH-T), the highway is an expressway. It passes into the Chippewa Valley metropolitan area and south of Chippewa Falls as a freeway and crosses US 53 at a cloverleaf interchange in Lake Hallie.[8] WIS 29 junctions with the southern terminus of WIS 178 southeast of Chippewa Falls then passes to the south of Lake Wissota State Park before crossing under WIS 27 in Cadott. WIS 29 passes south of Boyd and Stanley before exiting the county to the east.[8]

In Clark County, WIS 29 meets WIS 73 in Thorp. The two highways run concurrently and exit the village to the east, and WIS 73 splits to the south in Withee about 10 miles (16 km) east. WIS 29 continues east and passes south of Owen and Curtiss. At Abbotsford, WIS 29 and WIS 13 meet at a partial cloverleaf interchange between Abbotsford and Colby on the Clark–Marathon county line.[8] Twelve miles (19 km) east of Abbotsford, WIS 29 and WIS 97 meet at a diamond interchange. This is a key route for travelers between Wausau and Marshfield. East of this junction, WIS 29 follows a straight course that passes Edgar and meets WIS 107 at a diamond interchange on the north side of Marathon City, approximately eight miles (13 km) west of Wausau. WIS 29 enters Wausau as a freeway, junctions with the western terminus of WIS 52 approximately 12 mile (0.80 km) west of US 51 at an eastbound off/westbound on style half-interchange. WIS 29 then immediately enters the new US 51 interchange, and turns south onto and follows US 51 for five miles (8.0 km), bypassing the downtown area to the south.[9]

Wausau to Green BayEdit

WIS 29 interchange on I-39 and US 51

South of Wausau, WIS 29 turns off US 51 to the east at the northern terminus of I-39 and continues as freeway, passing through the villages of Rothschild and Weston. The freeway section ends at Ringle. As an expressway, the highway passes just south of Hatley and turns southeast for about four miles (6 km) before turning east again at the northern terminus of WIS 49.[9]

The highway enters Shawano County about one mile (1.6 km) east of this junction.[9] WIS 29 passes north and around Wittenberg. US 45 joins with the highway north of Wittenberg and the two routes run concurrently to where US 45 splits to the south at about two miles (3.2 km) east of the village. WIS 29 bypasses Tilleda and Thornton on the way towards Shawano At Shawano, the expressway becomes a freeway at the junction with CTH-MMM (WIS 29 Business) and turns southeast to bypass Shawano to the south, diamond interchanges link the highway with WIS 22 and WIS 47 north/WIS 55 north as it pass south of the city. WIS 47 south and WIS 55 south follow WIS 29 east. WIS 47 splits to the south at the diamond interchange junction with WIS 117 south of Bonduel. WIS 29 (along with WIS 55) then returns to an expressway at the junction with CTH-BE (WIS 29's former route). WIS 55 splits to the south at the diamond interchange junction with WIS 160 at Angelica and WIS 29 heads southeast to the Brown County line.[10]

Flyovers completed at WIS 29-US 41 interchange in 2014 as part of the US 41 project

About one mile (1.6 km) into Brown County, WIS 29 collects WIS 32 eastbound at the diamond interchange with WIS 156 and CTH-Y. WIS 29 very briefly passes through the northeast corner of Outagamie County and enters the village of Howard. The multilane expressway and the Backbone Corridor route end at Interstate 41/US 41.[7][11] WIS 32 turns south onto I-41/US 41 as WIS 29 continues into Green Bay as Shawano Avenue.[12]

Green Bay to KewauneeEdit

Eastern terminus in Kewaunee

In downtown Green Bay, WIS 29 turns north onto South Monroe Avenue for four blocks, joining with WIS 54 and turns east onto Main Street, splitting from WIS 54 and joining US 141 to leave the city to the southeast. The highways pass over I-43 without an interchange. WIS 29 splits to the east from US 141 at about one mile (1.6 km) north of US 's southern terminus at I-43 in Bellevue. This provides the only access from I-43 to WIS 29. The highway passes through Poland and Henrysville as it exits Brown County to the east.[11] In Kewaunee County, WIS 29 passes due east through Pilsen and north of Krok as a two-lane road. The highway ends in downtown Kewaunee at WIS 42 on the shores of Lake Michigan.[13]


Prior to 1926, WIS 29 was numbered WIS 116 from Minnesota to Chippewa Falls, WIS 16 from Chippewa Falls to Bellevue, and WIS 146 from Bellevue to Kewaunee. WIS 16 continued southeast from Bellevue along what became US 141 in 1926 to Manitowoc. What had been WIS 29 before 1926 became US 16 across the state.[14]

WIS 29 has long been known as "Bloody 29"[15] because of the prevalence of grisly fatal traffic crashes along significant portions of the highway. In 1988, a study was commissioned to examine upgrading the highway to a four-lane divided highway. The changes would be made along 203 miles (327 km) of road from I-94, 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Elk Mound, to US 41 in Howard (suburban Green Bay). The final segment of the highway, connecting the east side of Chippewa Falls with the segment running north of Eau Claire, was opened to traffic on August 16, 2005. Of the total length, about 65 miles (105 km) of the highway meets Interstate Highway standards.[16] Most of the expansion was completed with only minor additions to the already-existing easements, and as a result, the expanded roadway almost exactly matches the highway's original course. While traffic crashes have declined significantly, numerous memorials to those who lost their lives on the road still dot the route.[citation needed]

WIS 29 is the only Wisconsin state highway in the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Corridors 2020 Backbone Routes system.[7]

The portion of WIS 29 between Chippewa Falls and Abbotsford roughly follows what used to be the Yellowstone Trail.[17][18]

In 2007, the improvements to WIS 29 won a Wonders of Wisconsin Engineering Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies, Wisconsin Chapter. Four firms (Ayres Associates, Strand Associates, CH2M Hlll and Earth Tech) were honored for their work on the project in the chapter's 50th anniversary award program.[citation needed]

Current statusEdit

The US 51/WIS 29 expansion project is now completed in the Wausau area.[19] This project has expanded the portions of WIS 29 that are cosigned with US 51 from four lanes to six lanes and reconstructed interchanges along the route to allow for higher bridge clearances, and higher capacity on- and off-ramps. The southern interchange where WIS 29 turns east from I-39/US 51 was rebuilt from a trumpet interchange to a Y-interchange and was completed in late 2006.[citation needed]

The northern interchange where WIS 29 turns west off US 51 is now fully open to traffic. It was rebuilt from a standard diamond interchange with traffic signals at the ramp terminals into a free flowing Y-interchange with flyover ramps immediately south of the old interchange, which is now used for WIS 52 alone. On September 17, 2010, the final ramp connecting WIS 29 eastbound to US 51 northbound opened to traffic. Other upgrades to WIS 29 in the Wausau area include the segment from Wausau to Marathon City, where most at grade access has been removed, along with the construction of a new diamond interchange at CTH-O. The paved center median was replaced with a concrete barrier median, and the speed limit raised to 65 mph. This project was completed in late 2013.[19]

As part of the massive US 41 project, WIS 29 has been undergoing upgrades in Brown County, beginning at CTH-J in the Village of Howard, proceeding easterly to US 41. The new WIS 29–US 41 interchange opened to traffic in late 2014. The original diamond interchange was replaced with a "free-flow" freeway-to-freeway Y-style interchange to allow for uninterrupted travel between the two highways. The upgrades also included an interchange at CTH-EB/Packerland Drive/Cardinal Lane and a grade-separated overpass at CTH-J. Work has also begun on upgrading WIS 29 to freeway status from Packerland Drive westerly to the Brown–Shawano county line. In summer 2014, a brand new diamond interchange was opened along WIS 29 at CTH-FF; the intersection of WIS 29 and Sunlite Drive/Woodland Drive was closed, and J-turns (superstreets) were constructed as safety enhancements at CTH-VV and CTH-U until funding can be secured to construct an interchange at the former and an overpass at the latter of these intersections.[20]


WisDOT is studying options for WIS 29 conversions to Interstate Highway standards in these sections:

In Dunn County, studies are now being conducted on the reconstruction of the WIS 29–I-94 interchange. The objective is to provide a free-flow interchange between the two freeways, similar to the US 51–WIS 29 interchange in Wausau, and the I-41/US 41–WIS 29 interchange in Green Bay. This will be the final link in the WIS 29 project, with direct freeway-to-freeway interchanges at the three major junctions along the route.[21]

The section between I-94 and CTH-X's eastern exit is already designated as a freeway by WisDOT—despite the existence of several at-grade intersections between US 53 and I-94. WisDOT is studying options for upgrade of these intersections as part of the study. WisDOT is also studying options for upgrades to the highway to a freeway further east to Bruce Mound Avenue in Clark County.[16]

The second section—between Wittenberg (US 45) and Green Bay (US 41) is also undergoing a study for planned upgrades of the highway to freeway standards. As it stands now, the Shawano bypass is the only section that is a freeway. The study is geared toward upgrading the rest of the section to Interstate standards.[22] Early plans in Shawano County would see interchanges constructed at CTH-D (Tilleda), Leopolis Road, CTH-U, CTH-MMM/Bus. WIS 29 (Shawano/Thornton), and CTH-F (Zachow); as well as overpasses built at Nightengale Road west of Wittenberg, CTH-D/Rock Road, Rangeline Road west of Thornton, Broadway Road, Main Laney Drive, and St. Augustine Road/WIS 156 at the SShawano–Brown county line.[19]

The third section—between Ringle (CTH-Q) and Wittenberg (US 45) is at the preliminary stages for freeway upgrades. WisDOT is currently focusing on preserving right-of-way access for future upgrades. Early plans call for overpasses at Hilltop Road and CTH-D; as well as an interchange at WIS 49 in eastern Marathon County.[23]

Major intersectionsEdit

PiercePrescott0.000.00   US 10 / WIS 35 south – Prescott, EllsworthWestern end of WIS 35 concurency
River Falls   WIS 35 north / WIS 65 – Ellsworth, Hudson, RobertsEastern end of WIS 35 concurrency
Martell  US 63 – Baldwin, Ellsworth
St. CroixSpring Valley  WIS 128 – Glenwood City, Elmwood
DunnMenomonie   US 12 west / WIS 25 – Durand, Wheeler, BaldwinWestern end of US 12 concurrency
Elk Mound60  I-94 – Madison, St. PaulWestern end of four-lane expressway; signed as exits 60A and 60B
61   US 12 east / WIS 40 north – Colfax, Elk MoundEastern end of US 12 concurrency
ChippewaChippewa Falls69  CTH-T
  Bus. WIS 29 (90th Avenue)
75  US 53 – Eau Claire, SuperiorSigned as exits 75A (US 53 south) and 75B (US 53 north)
   Bus. WIS 29 / WIS 178 north – Chippewa Falls
Lake Wissota80  CTH-X – Lake Wissota State ParkWestbound entrance and eastbound exit only
81  CTH-J – Lake Wissota
87  CTH-X – Lake Wissota State ParkEastbound signage omits Lake Wissota State Park
Cadott91  WIS 27 – Cadott, Augusta
Boyd97  CTH-D – Boyd
Stanley101   CTH-H / CTH-X – Stanley
ClarkThorp108   WIS 73 north / CTH-M – Thorp
Withee118   WIS 73 south / CTH-T – Withee, Neillsville
Owen122  CTH-X (Cardinal Avenue) – Owen
Curtiss127  CTH-E – Curtiss
  Bus. WIS 29 – Abbotsford
Eastbound exit and westbound entrance only
Marathon132  WIS 13 – Colby, Abbotsford
  Bus. WIS 29 – Abbotsford
Eastbound entrance and westbound exit only
  CTH-F – CherokeeAt-grade intersection
Wien145  WIS 97 – Athens, Marshfield
  CTH-M – WienAt-grade intersection
Edgar150  CTH-H – Edgar
  CTH-S – Rib FallsAt-grade intersection
Marathon City156  WIS 107 – Marathon City, Merrill
Wausau159  CTH-O – North
16272nd Avenue
164  WIS 52 east (Stewart Avenue)
  US 51 north – Merrill
Northern end of US 51 concurrency; signed as exits 164A (WIS 52, Stewart Avenue) and 164B (US 51 north); signed as exit 192 on US 51; concurrency follows US 51's exit numbers
191Sherman StreetNorthbound exit and southbound entrance only
Town of Rib Mountain190  CTH-NN (North Mountain Road)
188  CTH-N (Rib Mountain Drive)
170   I-39 south / US 51 south – Stevens Point, MadisonSouthern end of US 51 concurrency; northern terminus of I-39; exit 187 on I-39/US 51
  Bus. US 51 – Rothschild, Schofield
Weston173  CTH-X (Camp Phillips Road) – Weston
177  CTH-J – Weston
Ringle181  CTH-Q – Ringle
Hatley185  CTH-Y – Hatley
Elderon  WIS 49 south – ElderonAt-grade intersection
    US 45 north / Bus. WIS 29 / CTH-M – Antigo, Wittenberg
Western end of US 45 concurrency
   Bus. WIS 29 / CTH-Q – Wittenberg
Eastbound entrance and westbound exit only
    US 45 south / Bus. WIS 29 / CTH-Q – Clintonville, Wittenberg
Easter end of US 45 concurrency; eastbound signage omits Bus. WIS 29, County Q, and Wittenberg
  CTH-J – TigertonAt-grade intersection
Tilleda  CTH-D north – TilledaAt-grade intersection
  CTH-G southAt-grade intersection
  CTH-D south – Leopolis, PellaAt-grade intersection
Thornton  CTH-U – GreshamAt-grade intersection
   Bus. WIS 29 / CTH-MMM – Shawano
At-grade intersection
Shawano225   WIS 22 / CTH-CC – Shawano, Clintonville
     WIS 47 north / WIS 55 north / CTH-K / Bus. WIS 29 – Shawano
Western end of WIS 47/WIS 55 concurrency
Bonduel234   WIS 47 south / WIS 117 north – Bonduel, AppletonEastern end of WIS 47 concurrency
  CTH-BE – BonduelAt-grade intersection; formerly WIS 29
Angelica  CTH-F – ZachowAt-grade intersection
242   WIS 55 south / WIS 160 east – Pulaski, SeymourEastern end of WIS 55 concurrency
BrownOneida249    WIS 32 north / WIS 156 west / CTH-Y – Pulaski, Gillett, ClintonvilleNorthwestern end of WIS 32 concurrency
  CTH-UAt-grade J-turn (superstreet) intersection
Green Bay  CTH-VV (Marley Street)At-grade J-turn (superstreet) intersection
255  CTH-FF – Howard, Hobart
  CTH-EB (Packerland Drive)Eastbound exit, westbound entrance
    I-41 / US 41 / WIS 32 south – Marinette, AppletonSouthwestern end of WIS 32 concurrency; exit 169 on US 41; eastern end of WIS 32 expressway
    US 141 north (Main St) / WIS 54 / WIS 57 (Monroe Ave) – De Pere, Algoma, Sturgeon BayWestern end of US 141 concurrency
Bellevue  US 141 south – Denmark, ManitowocEastern end of US 141 concurrency
Poland  CTH-T – New Franken, Denmark
Henrysville  CTH-P
KewauneePilsen  CTH-V – Curran
Stangelville  CTH-AB – Luxemburg, MishicotFormer WIS 163
Kewaunee   WIS 42 / LMCT – Algoma, Sturgeon Bay, ManitowocEastern terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Business routesEdit

WIS 29 has four business routes:

  • Business WIS 29 in Chippewa Falls
  • Business WIS 29 in Abbotsford
  • Business WIS 29 in Wittenberg
  • Business WIS 29 in Shawano

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Federal Highway Administration. "The National Highway Planning Network". Federal Highway Administration. Retrieved September 2, 2007.
  2. ^ Google (December 25, 2007). "US 63 to US 63" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  3. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Pierce Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 16, 2008. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  4. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. St. Croix Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  5. ^ Google (December 25, 2007). "Hudson Road, Menomonie, Wisconsin" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  6. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Dunn Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  7. ^ a b c "Wisconsin State Highway Plan 2020 Summary Report" (PDF). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Wisconsin Bureau of Planning. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Chippewa Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  9. ^ a b c Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Marathon Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  10. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Shawano Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 15, 2011. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  11. ^ a b Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Brown Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Cartography by WisDOT. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 13, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  12. ^ Google (December 25, 2007). "Shawano Ave, Green Bay" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  13. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Kewaunee Co (PDF) (Map). 1:100,000. Madison: Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  14. ^ Bauer, Kurt W. (1969). "Map 5: Original State Trunk Highway System in Wisconsin 1918" (Map). A Jurisdictional Highway System Plan For Milwaukee County. Scale not given. Milwaukee: Southeast Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission. OCLC 226912. Retrieved January 10, 2008 – via Midwest Roads.
  15. ^ Bessert, Christopher J. "Highways 20-29". Retrieved February 3, 2012.[self-published source]
  16. ^ a b Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "WIS 29 Freeway Conversion Study". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
  17. ^ "The Yellowstone Trail in Chippewa County Wisconsin". Yellowstone Trail Association. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  18. ^ "The Yellowstone Trail in Clark County Wisconsin". Yellowstone Trail Association. Retrieved December 25, 2007.
  19. ^ a b c Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "US 51/WIS  29 Project". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on December 27, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
  20. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "WIS 29 (County U - Woodland Road) Planning Study". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  21. ^ "I-94 (Red Cedar River-WIS 29)". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  22. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation (September 2005). "WIS 29 Preservation Plan: Wittenberg to Green Bay" (PDF). Project Newsletter. Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 21, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
  23. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "WisDOT Schedules WIS 29 Public Information Meeting" (Press release). Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Archived from the original on June 21, 2007. Retrieved June 10, 2007.
  24. ^ Wisconsin Department of Transportation. "Exit Numbers on WIS 29". Wisconsin Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 10, 2007.

External linksEdit