Wisconsin Department of Transportation

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I-39/Business 51 Interchange - Need/purpose

Why is this project needed?

The Business 51 corridor in the village of Rothschild is a key local route with a current average daily traffic of 15,000 vehicles per day. It has a significant role in connecting industrial, manufacturing and retail land uses to the regional mobility that I-39 provides.

The interchange ramps and lane configurations on Business 51 do not meet current design standards, which leads to congestion and traffic backups. There is limited sight distance for motorists on I-39 approaching the ramps, which leads to safety issues associated with the backups. Also the pavement on Business 51 is reaching the end of its useful life.


The purpose of this project is to improve traffic operations and safety for traffic accessing I-39 to and from Business 51. The Cedar Creek bridge needs to be raised to reduce flooding impacts.

Project benefits/anticipated outcomes

WisDOT is currently proposing to reconstruct Business 51 (between Village Way and Eagle Nest Boulevard) to a four-lane, divided roadway with auxiliary and dedicated turn lanes. Other proposed improvements include:

  • Realignment and reconstruction of the I-39/Business 51 interchange ramps
  • Realignment of Morrison Avenue with the south I-39 ramps
  • Construction of new pavement, storm sewer, and curb and gutter
  • Construction of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations along Business 51
  • Installation of new traffic signals at the I-39/Business 51 ramps and the County XX intersection
  • Reconstruction of the railroad crossings at Morrison Avenue and Foremost Drive
  • Replacement of the bridge over Cedar Creek
  • Provide aesthetic enhancements


These proposed improvements will reduce delays, provide on-road bicycle lanes and multi-use path.

Questions about the content of this page:
WisDOT North Central Region Office, ncr.dtsd@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: December 19, 2013

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