Interstate 43 Live Cam

I-43 southbound lanes at Wells St. in Milwaukee


Interstate 43 (I-43) is a major north-south interstate highway in the state of Wisconsin, United States. It runs for approximately 191 miles (307 kilometers) from the Illinois-Wisconsin state line near Beloit in the south to the Green Bay metropolitan area in the north. I-43 serves as a crucial transportation corridor, connecting several major cities and regions within Wisconsin.

Here are some key points about Interstate 43 in Wisconsin:
  • Route and Geography: I-43 begins at the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, where it connects with Interstate 39/90. It then heads north, passing through cities like Beloit, Janesville, and Rockford in southern Wisconsin. The highway continues through the eastern part of the state, passing through cities such as Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Manitowoc, before ending in the Green Bay metropolitan area.
  • Major Cities: Some of the major cities along the I-43 corridor in Wisconsin include Milwaukee, Green Bay, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Beloit. These cities are important economic and cultural centers within the state.
  • Transportation Corridor: I-43 serves as a critical transportation artery, connecting various regions of Wisconsin and facilitating the movement of people, goods, and services. It provides access to major industrial, commercial, and recreational areas.
  • Interchanges and Connections: I-43 intersects with several other major highways and interstates, providing connectivity to different parts of Wisconsin and neighboring states. In Milwaukee, it intersects with Interstate 94, which is a major east-west route.
  • Economic Importance: The I-43 corridor plays a significant role in Wisconsin's economy. It facilitates the transportation of goods to and from manufacturing centers, distribution hubs, and ports along Lake Michigan.
  • Scenic Views: The portion of I-43 between Milwaukee and Green Bay offers scenic views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding landscapes. This stretch of highway is known for its picturesque views, especially during certain seasons.
  • Upgrades and Maintenance: Over the years, various sections of I-43 have undergone upgrades, maintenance, and expansion to accommodate increasing traffic volumes and enhance safety for motorists.
  • Tourist Attractions: Along the I-43 route, there are several tourist attractions, historical sites, and recreational areas. For example, the highway passes near the city of Sheboygan, known for its beautiful lakeshore, golf courses, and events.
  • Role in Tourism: The I-43 corridor also supports tourism, as it provides access to popular destinations such as Milwaukee's cultural attractions, Lake Michigan beaches, and Green Bay's Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers NFL team.

Interstate 43 is an integral part of Wisconsin's transportation infrastructure, playing a vital role in supporting commerce, tourism, and regional connectivity within the state.

Historical Facts

  • Construction and Development: The construction of I-43 began in the 1960s, and it was designed to provide a modern and efficient highway connection between Milwaukee and Green Bay. The highway was intended to serve as an important transportation corridor for both urban and rural areas in Wisconsin.
  • Segments and Completion: Different segments of I-43 were completed over a period of several years. The southernmost portion, near Beloit, was one of the earliest segments to be completed. The highway's completion extended northward over time, eventually linking major cities like Milwaukee and Green Bay.
  • Interstate Numbering: The number "43" in I-43 refers to the fact that it is an auxiliary route of Interstate 41. I-41 runs through northeastern Wisconsin and parts of Illinois, while I-43 serves as a branch that connects the eastern part of the state, including Milwaukee, with Green Bay.
  • Impact on Travel: Before the construction of I-43, travel between Milwaukee and Green Bay was often slower and less efficient due to reliance on older and more congested roadways. I-43 significantly improved travel times and safety along this route.
  • Economic Development: The construction of I-43 facilitated economic growth and development in the regions it served. Improved transportation access attracted businesses and industries, boosting commerce and trade.
  • Urban and Suburban Growth: In urban areas like Milwaukee, I-43 played a role in shaping development patterns. It provided improved access to suburban communities, which contributed to the growth of suburbs along the highway corridor.
  • Transporting Goods: I-43's strategic route allowed for efficient movement of goods between major industrial and commercial centers in southern and northeastern Wisconsin. It connected manufacturers, distributors, and other businesses with markets across the state and beyond.
  • Tourism and Recreation: The scenic views along certain stretches of I-43, particularly along Lake Michigan, have contributed to its popularity among tourists and travelers. The highway offers access to recreational areas and attractions, boosting tourism in regions it passes through.
  • Maintenance and Upgrades: Over the years, I-43 has undergone maintenance, repairs, and various improvements to ensure safety and efficiency. Some sections have been widened to accommodate higher traffic volumes.
  • Community Impact: While I-43 has provided numerous benefits, its construction has sometimes resulted in the displacement of communities and changes to local landscapes. Highway development projects often involve balancing the benefits of improved transportation with potential social and environmental impacts.
  • Interstate System Legacy: I-43 is part of the larger Interstate Highway System in the United States, a network of controlled-access highways that spans the country. This system was authorized by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 and has had a profound impact on the way Americans travel and on the nation's economy.

Overall, Interstate 43 has a rich history as a key transportation route connecting major cities and regions in Wisconsin. It has played a pivotal role in shaping economic, social, and travel patterns within the state.

Route description

Interstate 43 (I-43) is a north-south highway that extends through the eastern part of Wisconsin, connecting major cities and regions. Here's a general route description of I-43:

Starting at the southern end:
  • Beloit: I-43 begins at the Illinois-Wisconsin state line near Beloit, where it connects with Interstate 39/90. It runs north from here, entering Wisconsin.
  • Janesville: Continuing north, I-43 passes through the city of Janesville, a major city in southern Wisconsin. The highway serves as a primary route for travelers in this area.
  • Rock County: I-43 runs through Rock County, offering access to various communities and local attractions.
  • Milwaukee Metropolitan Area: As I-43 moves northward, it approaches the Milwaukee metropolitan area, the largest city in Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, the highway intersects with Interstate 94, a major east-west route.
  • Downtown Milwaukee: I-43 passes through downtown Milwaukee, providing access to the city's cultural attractions, businesses, and residential neighborhoods.
  • Lake Michigan: As I-43 continues north of Milwaukee, it follows a scenic route along the western shore of Lake Michigan. This stretch of the highway offers picturesque views of the lake and the surrounding landscapes.
  • Ozaukee County: I-43 passes through Ozaukee County, offering access to communities such as Mequon, Grafton, and Port Washington.
  • Sheboygan: Further north, I-43 reaches the city of Sheboygan, known for its lakeshore and recreational opportunities.
  • Manitowoc: Continuing north, the highway reaches the city of Manitowoc, an important industrial and port city along Lake Michigan.
  • Two Rivers: I-43 passes through Two Rivers, another community along the Lake Michigan coast.
  • Green Bay Metropolitan Area: I-43 approaches the Green Bay metropolitan area, a significant hub in northeastern Wisconsin.
  • Green Bay: I-43 terminates in the Green Bay metropolitan area. It provides access to the city of Green Bay, home to attractions like Lambeau Field (home of the Green Bay Packers) and a range of cultural and recreational amenities.

Throughout its route, I-43 provides access to various industries, businesses, tourist destinations, and residential areas. The highway's scenic views along the Lake Michigan shoreline contribute to its popularity among travelers. I-43 serves as a vital transportation corridor, connecting major cities and facilitating the movement of people and goods between southern and northeastern Wisconsin. It also contributes to the economic development and growth of the regions it serves.

Great Motorcycle Destinations: Milwauke
A display at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee

As the home of Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee, Wisconsin is the first great motorcycle destination I wanted to suggest to other riders. When you add in great people, some serious food and a lot of beer, it just gets better and better. Here is a basic guide to visiting Milwaukee on a bike:

When to go: Summertime is the only time to visit this Northern city and the city celebrates the season with their annual Summerfest music festival. Summerfest is the city's big musical event and is a two-weekend party usually the last weekend in June and the first in July. Called the world's largest music festival, it features a surprising array of musical artists and is usually headlined by some pretty big names.

Where to stay: If you visit Milwaukee on two wheels, there really is only one place to stay, The Iron Horse Hotel, an entire hotel dedicated to the world of motorcycles and the free spirit of their riders. The hotel, created from a 100 year-old former warehouse, has 100 super hip, large, loft-style rooms and suites. You get exposed brick walls, tall ceilings in some suites and really contemporary showers and other cool design touches to make it more like staying at a hip friend's condo than at a hotel.

The hotel has biker-friendly amenities like free, secure bike parking, a bike washing station, even little touches like big hangers and hooks for riding gear and rooms with a bench to change out of that gear comfortably. Upscale things are offered like special biker massages and even special bike shipping rates and arrangements with a shipping company. When you feel like being driven instead of riding, the hotel has a complimentary local town car service.

What to do: The Harley-Davidson Museum is great overview of the company's incredible history and showcases many of their classic models. Serious bikers should go for the Steel Toe Tour, given on Wednesdays and Fridays. The twice-daily tours take visitors to the nearby Pilgrim Road Powertrain Operations Facility where they build Harley engines.

The museum presents the history of Harley-Davidson, but this tour allows bikers to see the amazing current technology and how their engines are made and also see the people who are making them. The tours are at 9:15 am.m and 12:30 p.m. are are $38 per person. The ticket includes the admission to the museum as well as a special souvenir pin and a photo taken inside the plant. A bus takes visitors to the factory and back to the museum afterwards.

What to eat: Brats and beef are the kings here. The Iron Horse Hotel's Smyth is an upscale dining experience and is rapidly establishing itself as a destination for the city's foodies. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are used and the menu is refreshingly simple, yet delicious.

A few minutes outside downtown Milwaukee, Sobelman's Pub N Grill serves what is constantly voted the city's best burger. For a good, but a bit touristy, brat and beer experience, the Milwaukee Brat House is a popular option.