Wisconsin Roads - US 12

The photo above is courtesy Scott Colbert. The next seven below (until JCT 23) are courtesy Michael Summa and date from 1986.

US 12/WIS 16 westbound in Oakdale, just east of the split of I-90/94, and then just off of that intersection (*giggle*). Turning right would take you to both I-90 and I-94 in both directions. Because you're already traveling west, Wisconsin assumes you wouldn't want to go east, and going straight takes you to I-90 alone without going north out of your way.

Westbound in either New Lisbon or Mauston, with all-white signage that's a lot more helpful than today's signage (which omits the actual speed). This Midwest practice of borrowing the concept of advisory speeds from yellow diamond signs should have caught on.

CTH A westbound where it ends, between Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton. Those signs aren't old for 1986 (or at least the US 12 isn't), they're just not up to (then current) state standards.

CTH A begins to the east, meaning that in the background, US 12 WB/WIS 23 EB are to the right. This sign was 20-25 years old in 1986, if not as old as 30, and shows its age.

Just east of the above signs, and probably a lot older. Might be at the end of Bonanza Drive.

WB, Lake Delton, and the last Michael Summa photo on the page.

All remaining photos are courtesy Scott Colbert until the state line; I'll call out the two exceptions at the end.

The first shield was clearly meant to be US and not WIS 12, on the Baraboo multiplex with WIS 33, and the second photo is WB on WIS 33 at the eastern end of that multiplex for a "sine salad" (borrowing the term from C.C. Slater). I don't know why ALTERNATE I-94 isn't signed with ALTERNATE I-90 in the first photo; Wisconsin seems to get lazy with that sometimes.

That state route goof shows up again in Sauk City.

Two WB photos of then-ongoing construction to extend the US 12 dualization well westward of the prior freeway end. There is a brief four-lane highway where there was no work slated, with this work to the west and upcoming photos to the east. There was no intention to upgrade US 12 to freeway, just to dualize it to add capacity.

New shots in 2005 of more dualization (first photo) and the western end of dualization (second photo).

Heading westward over the eastern half of the dualization project; the third and fourth images are the left and right halves of the same photo.

WB west of the US 14 split, a brand-new (as of 2005) removal of a grade crossing to extend the freeway westward.

While it may be rare to see three Interstates together, four US routes are fairly commonplace west of the Mississippi (apparently with some leakage across the river), especially when they're all taking advantage of a freeway routing. Of course, traffic on the quadplex is verrrrry busy.

Mileage signs on the US 12 freeway not only include the direction and shield, but are blue to boot! I'd bet US 18 gets milemarkers along their multiplexed stretch here as well. Shielded milemarkers are becoming an increasingly popular way to distinguish mileages along multiplexes - for example, NJDOT's old strategy was to stick a small shield directly atop the milemarker in question.

There is another US 12 freeway, near Illinois. In fact, it goes right to a diamond interchange with old US 12 (Walworth St.) at the border. In fact, the diamond interchange is fully graded right to the exact border (minus the overpass) - and there's not a trace of it on the Illinois side. US 12 didn't carry much traffic along this freeway until I-43 opened, which may be why IL said no to the extension. (Of course, a completed freeway would probably attract more traffic - see US 7 in Connecticut.) Or it may be that I-90 and I-94, the completed freeway connections, bring toll revenue to the state, and IL hasn't responded to a few WI freeways approaching the border. WisDOT is in the process of upgrading WIS 50 to a four-lane arterial, bringing even more traffic to the freeway over from I-94, though that won't affect the southern(eastern)most couple of US 12 miles. These two photos are EB, showing striped fences at the end of the paved mainline carriageways, and the first photo is courtesy Doug Kerr.

Ending the page with one of my own photos (for once), WB at the freeway beginning. CTH H is the old two-lane US 12 to Elkhorn.

Onto US 14 and US 12/14
Onto Walworth CTH H, former US 12

Into Illinois on US 12
To I-90
To I-94
Exit 261 to US 151 alone
To Walworth CTH B
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