61sign Modern Highway Photos: Wisconsin State Line to Dakota

November, 2006 (Page 1)

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The following photos were taken on the way back to the Twin Cities after a weekend with friends in La Crosse, Wisconsin. We only followed U.S. 61 to the north junction with I-90, where we split off to the west towards Rochester and U.S. 52. These pictures were taken before the recent 2007/2008 reconstruction of the junction and highway at La Crescent.

Westbound on U.S. 61 / U.S. 14 / MN 16 in the swampy Mississippi River bottoms between La Crosse and La Crescent. Once known as the "Dike Road", this stretch of U.S. 61 was first upgraded into a divided highway way back in 1941 when it was one of the most important gateways to the state. Up ahead is the intersection with Shore Acres Road, part of which can be seen on the far right, center. This was actually part of the original alignment of U.S. 61 (for more info, see the lost highway article here).

Another view to the west towards La Crescent. The last major reconstruction of this stretch of highway was back in 1978.

Entering La Crescent (remind me not to leave my extra McDonalds apple pies on the dashboard).

Trailblazer signs at La Crescent. Notice the "TO" 26 and 44 signs.

About to cross bridge #5475, constructed back in 1940 as part of the original divided upgrade. This bridge was replaced in 2007/08 and has been demolished. Also note the direction sign for Winona and Hokah on the right.

At the junction with State Highway 16 at La Crescent, now gone. U.S. 61 and U.S. 14 split off towards Winona, while Highway 16 turns south to reach the towns in the Root River Valley. Also note the sign for the "Disabled American Veterans Highway".

Crossing the junction with Highway 16 to get gas.

Looking back to the east from the Kwik Trip parking lot towards the junction with Highway 16. This junction is now gone, a victim of the recent 2007/08 modernization project. It was originally constructed back in 1941, when this was the west junction with U.S. Highway 16. The junction was originally configured as an at-grade interchange, designed to allow traffic to flow through the junction without stopping (except for when meeting opposing traffic). The junction was converted into a controlled intersection in 1952, and modernized again in 1962. U.S. 16 was retired in Minnesota and Wisconsin upon the completion of I-90 sometime around 1979, and remarked as a state route on both sides of the state line.

A closer view of the signage at the old junction.

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