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Transportation in Wisconsin

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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation[1] was established officially in the year 1967 by merging the Wisconsin TransportationDepartment of Motor Vehicles and formerly independent agencies. The department is responsible for building, maintaining and planning a network of state highways and interstate highway system of Wisconsin. The Department financially helps rail, air and water transportation throughout the state as well as look after bicycle and pedestrian facilities.

Many programs have been initiated and implemented by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation department. Some of the major programs are:

To read more about Transportation Programs
Click here.

Road Transportation in Wisconsin

The road transportation in Wisconsin consists of several state routes, interstate highways, bridges and tunnels. The department is responsible for convenient, safe, and excellent statewide transportation. The department also provides easy connectivity to various cities and states.

The major highways of Wisconsin are:

Wisconsin Highways
  • Interstate 39 connects Normal, Illinois to Wisconsin Highway 29 in Rib Mountain in Wisconsin.
  • Interstate 41 is a future Interstate Highway project which will link Wisconsin and Illinois state line.
  • Interstate 43 is the 5th longest intrastate Interstate Highway among the Interstate Highway system
  • Interstate 90 passes through east to west through the western, central and southern region of the state of Wisconsin.
  • Interstate 94 passes through east to west through the western, central and southern region of the state of Wisconsin.

Adopt-A-Highway Program

The Department began the Adopt-A-Highway program to enable groups to volunteer and help the anti-litter program of state in a more direct way. Adopt-A-Highway program helps in reduction of litter along the highways of Wisconsin, build support for the anti-litter and highway beautification programs throughout the state, educate the travelers to dispose of litter properly and enhancing the environment and beautify the roadsides of Wisconsin.

To know more about Adopt-A-Highway Program Click here.

Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP)

The Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is a four-year plan of transit and highway projects for the state of Wisconsin. The plain is revised every year. Statewide Transportation Improvement Program is a compilation of all transit (capital or operating) and highway (state or local) projects in urban and rural areas.

To know more about Statewide Transportation Improvement Program Click here.

Wisconsin's Scenic Byways Program

The scenic byway program of the state of Wisconsin is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Transportation Department and local communities to promote and identify state highway corridors with historical and scenic attributes that offers visitors an enjoyable educational, visual, and recreational experience.

To know more about Wisconsin's Scenic Byways program Click here.

Also read: Scenic Byways in Wisconsin

Bus services

The Wisconsin Transit provides bus services throughout the state. The state has 81 public bus and shared-ride taxi systems. Private bus companies of Wisconsin provide scheduled bus facilities to major airports and also between cities.

To know more about Bus service in Wisconsin Click here.

Also read: Long distance intercity bus routes


Bicycling plays major role in moving Wisconsin’s people. Many people in Wisconsin choose or rely in this mode of travel. The Department of Transportation of Wisconsin recently released a state bicycle plan to serve individuals and communities to develop statewide bicycle-friendly facilities.

Also read: State Bicycle Plan


The Pedestrians represent an important transportation mode in the state. According to U.S. Census of 2000, almost 92,000 people in the state walk to work on a regular basis.

Also read: Statewide Pedestrian Policy Plan.

Air Transportation in Wisconsin

Air transportation is an essential gateway of Wisconsin that serves the tourists as well as locals from all over the world. It is the important form that provides all round easy and efficient connectivity. The Bureau of Aeronautics of Wisconsin serves a network of eight commercial service airports and 131 diverse general aviation public-use airports. The primary airports in Wisconsin are Outagamie County Regional Airport, Austin Straubel International Airport, Chippewa Valley Regional Airport, La Crosse Municipal Airport, Dane County Regional Airport, General Mitchell International Airport, Central Wisconsin Airport and Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport.

Air transportation in Wisconsin

Contact Details
Bureau of Aeronautics
P.O. Box 7914
Madison WI 53707-7914

Major Airports in Wisconsin

Outagamie County Regional Airport (ATW)

The Outagamie County Regional Airport operates as a self funded airport. Major airlines that operate to and from the airport are Allegiant Air, Delta and United.

Contact Details

W6390 Challenger Drive,
Suite 201 Appleton,
WI 54914, USA
Phone no: 920-832-5268
Fax: 920-832-1543
Website: Outagamie County Regional Airport

Austin Straubel International Airport

The Austin Straubel International Airport serves private plane charters, fixed base operators, northeastern Wisconsin business and leisure flights, and all other airline travel from Brown County to travel destinations worldwide. The airport is currently serving the cities of Atlanta, Detroit Chicago, and Minneapolis. The airlines that operate to and from the airport are: American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines and United.

Contact Details

2077 Airport Drive,
Suite 18, Green Bay,
WI 54313-5596
Phone no: 920-498-4800
Fax: 920-498-8799
Website: The Austin Straubel International Airport

Chippewa Valley Regional AirportAviation in Wisconsin

The Chippewa Valley Regional Airport is located near Eau Claire. Presently united airlines operate from the airport.

Contact Details

Chippewa Valley Regional Airport
3800 Starr Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Phone no: 715-839-4900
Fax: 715-839-5099
Website: Chippewa Valley Regional Airport

General Mitchell International Airport

The General Mitchell International Airport is one of the major airports in the state. The flights that operates to and from the airport are: Air Canada, Air Tran, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier Airlines, Great Lakes, Southwest Airlines, United and US Airways.

Contact Details

General Mitchell International Airport
5300 South Howell Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207
Phone no: 414-747-5300
Website: General Mitchell International Airport

Some General aviation airports in Wisconsin are:

La Crosse Regional Airport
2850 Airport Rd.
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone no: (608) 789-7464
Fax: (608) 789-7469
Website: La Crosse Regional Airport

Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA)
200 CWA Drive
Mosinee, WI 54455
Phone no: 715-693-2147
Website: Central Wisconsin Airport (CWA)

Rhinelander/Oneida County AirportAir service in Wisconsin
3375 Airport Road
Rhinelander, Wisconsin 54501
Phone no: 715-365-3416
Fax: 715-365-3439
Website: Rhinelander/Oneida County Airport

Burnett County Airport
7425 County Road K
Siren, WI 54872
Phone no: 715-349-7076
Fax: 715-349-2130
Website: Burnett County Airport

Cumberland Municipal Airport (KUBE)
865 21st Ave
Cumberland, WI 54829
Phone no: 715-822-4554
Website: Cumberland Municipal Airport

Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (KJVL)
51 South Main Street
Janesville, WI 53545
Phone no: 608.757.5598
Fax 608.757.5586
Website: Southern Wisconsin Regional Airport (KJVL)

Also read: List of Airports in Wisconsin

Rail Transportation in Wisconsin

The rail transportation is also an integral part of the transportation system and economy of Wisconsin since 1847. The first rail service of the state was also introduced in the same year. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation, in addition to supporting passenger and freight rail activities in the state, works to improve safety at over 4,400 public highway-rail grade crossings.
Rail Transportation in Wisconsin

Wisconsin Passenger Trains

Wisconsin has two passenger train routes that are operated by Amtrak.

The long distance Empire Builder train, operates from Chicago to Seattle and Portland, and also offers oneAmtrak Passenger rails round trip everyday and makes six Wisconsin stops.

The Hiawatha Service is supported by the state. Hiawatha Service together with the State of Illinois serves more than 820,000 passengers in a year, on seven daily round trips from Milwaukee to Chicago. The stops in Wisconsin are Milwaukee Airport Rail Station, Milwaukee Intermodal Station, and Sturtevant. It is the busiest corridor in the Midwest served by Amtrak.

To know more about Amtrak passenger rail service in Wisconsin Click here.

Excursion Trains in Wisconsin

There are also some special trains in Wisconsin which carry passengers to different destinations. One can plan trips with friends and family and can enjoy a beautiful ride in these special trains.

The trains include:

Wisconsin FreightFreight in Wisconsin

Presently, 13 freight railroads operate on a system of 3,300 route miles approximately across the state. Some of the major freight railroads are:

Water Transportation in WisconsinWater transportation in Wisconsin

Wisconsin waterways play an important role in the development of economy of the state. The sea ports of Wisconsin serve as the major export and import centre for distribution and good movement across Wisconsin, the United States and also around the globe.

Ports in Wisconsin

The municipal commercial ports of Wisconsin crated the Wisconsin Commercial Ports Association (WCPA) in the year 2001. The main purpose of the Association is to promote and develop the waterborne transportation of the state. Some of the major ports[2] of the state are mentioned below:

Port of Milwaukee

Port of Duluth-Superior

Port of Duluth-Superior is the Great Lakes largest harbor. It is situated at the westernmost tip of Lake Superior. Every year Duluth-Superior host about 1,100 ocean going ships and lake carriers loading and delivering about 38 million tons of bulk and break bulk cargo.

Contact Details

City of Superior
Jason Serck-Port and Planning Director
Gout Center 1316 N. 14th Street #210
Superior, WI 54880
Phone no: (715) 395-7335

To know more about Port of Duluth-Superior click here.

Port of LaCrosse

The port is located near major roads and rail yards and provides connection to the Upper Midwest and the world. The port serves as a hub for importing and exporting products from Russia, China, Spain, Mexico, South America and other countries.

Contact Details
City of LaCrosse
John Fisher-VP of Harbor Commissioners
400 La Crosse St
La Crosse, WI 54603
Phone no: (608) 781-5154

Larry Kirch - Director of Planning
LaCrosse Planning Department
400 La Crosse Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone no: (608) 789-7512

To know more about Port of LaCrosse Click here.

Port of Prairie du Chien

The Port of Prairie du Chien is situated on the Mississippi River in the southwest corner Wisconsin. The port accommodates small excursion boats and large paddlewheel cruise boats.

Contact Details

City of Prairie du Chien
Aaron Kramer- City Administrator
P.O. Box 324
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Phone no: (920) 326-6406

Dave Hemmer- City Mayor
City of Prairie du Chien
P.O. Box 324
Prairie du Chien, WI 53821
Phone no: (715) 395-7335

To know more about Port of Prairie du Chien Click here.

Port of Green Bay

The Port of Green Bay provides a direct route for shipments that connects Midwest and international markets. This port is situated on the western most point of Lake Michigan.

Contact DetailsFerry service in Wisconsin

Brown County Port & Resource Recovery Department
Dean Haen-Director
2561 South Broadway
Green Bay, WI 54304
Phone no: (920) 492-4950

To know more about Port of Green Bay Click here.

Port of Milwaukee

The Port of Milwaukee gives an operational flexibility different to the western Great Lakes and the inland waterway system.

Contact Details

Port of Milwaukee
Larry Sullivan-Port Director
2323 S. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53207-1054
Phone no: (414) 286-8139

To know more about Port of Milwaukee Click here.

Diversified Cargo ports in Wisconsin

Limited cargo Ports

Also read:

  1. Wisconsin Department of Transportation
  2. Ports of Wisconsin
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