According to statistics from the Wisconsin
Department of Transportation (WisDOT), there are 112,362 miles of
public roadway within the state of all types. Of that, 11,753 miles comprise
the State Trunk Highway system, which also contains approximately 4,600
bridges, and is administered and maintained by WisDOT.
Outside the state highway system, the remaining 100,609 miles of roads
and streets are maintained by the cities, villages, counties and towns
in which they are located.
Specifically, the state trunk highway system is comprised of 750 miles
of Interstates and 11,010 miles of US- and STH-marked highways. WisDOT also
notes, "While the 11,753 miles of state highways represent only 10.5% of
all public road mileage in Wisconsin, they carry over 34.7 billion vehicle
miles of travel a year, or about 60.5% of the total annual statewide highway
travel." WisDOT has
also divided the entire state trunk highway system into five "sub-systems" as
State Trunk Highway Sub-Systems:
- Corridors 2020 Backbone Routes. This 1,550-mile network of key multi-lane
routes connects major population and economic centers, and provides economic
links to national and international markets (e.g., Interstates 39, 43,
90 and 94; US Highways 10, 41, 51, 53 and 151; and State Highway 29).
- Corridors 2020 Connector Routes. This 2,100-mile system of two- and
four-lane highways connects key communities and regional economic centers
to the Corridors 2020 Backbone routes (e.g., US Highways 2, 8, 12, 14,
61 and 61; and State Highways 13, 21 and 26).
- Other Principal Arterials. These 1,450 miles of roadways provide mobility
within a specific region (e.g., US-10, west of Marshfield, State Highway
35 along the Mississippi River) and serve as main thoroughfares in urban
areas (East Washington Ave/US-151 in Madison; Bluemound Road/US-18 in the
Milwaukee area; and, Clairemont Avenue/US-12 in Eau Claire).
- Minor Arterials. These 5,000 miles of roadways are used primarily for
trips within smaller geographic regions. They are generally rural two-lane
highways that connect places of more than 1,000 people.
- Collectors and Local Function Roads. These sub-systems, totaling 1,700
miles, are used for short trips within an area and to access adjacent
SHP 2020. Wisconsin is currently involved in a variety
of long-range transportation planning activities for all modes of transportation.
WisDOT, in partnership with its stakeholders, has developed the State
Highway Plan 2020, a 21-year strategic plan which considers the highway
system's current condition, analyzes future uses, assesses financial constraints
and outlines strategies to address Wisconsin's preservation, traffic movement,
and safety needs. The plan is updated every six years to reflect changing
transportation technologies, travel demand and economic conditions in Wisconsin.
- Source: WisDOT.
More information from WisDOT:
Route Numbering. Generally the State Traffic Engineer
approves assignments of state trunk highway designations. As WisDOT notes, "This does not include approval of the
beginning and end and alignment of the highway, but merely the approval
number itself." In some cases the State Traffic Engineer is asked
to select a designation or a
realignment of designations. As the State Traffic Engineer is a statewide
position, it is perceived this manner of selecting route designations
Once the route designations have been assigned, the official information
on numbering, route termini, and connecting highway limits is kept in the
Trunk Highway System Maps compiled and published by WisDOT's
Bureau of Highway Development.
Wisconsin generally adheres to the "rule" that there
will be no duplication of route numbers, regardless of Interstate, US or
State designation. With the coming of the Interstates in the 1950s and
60s, some state route numbers needed to be changed in order to allow I-90,
I-94 and I-43 to exist in the state without duplication. The one example
of a route number with two highways routings is 39. SR-39 has existed in
Wisconsin since the early years, while I-39 was more recently designated
as such between Beloit and Wausau.
For more in-depth information about the Wisconsin state trunk highway system,
please feel free to explore the links in the navigation menu on the left-hand
side of most pages in this website, or select from any of the items below:
"Dedicated to the past, present and future of the Wisconsin State Trunk Highway system as well as other highways and routes throughout the Badger State. This website is intended to be a clearinghouse of information on Wisconsin's highways, from easily-recognized facts to the little-known trivia. It is also meant to change as the state highway system changes."