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U.S. Route 51: Wikis


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U.S. Route 51 shield
U.S. Route 51
Length: 1286[1] mi (2070 km)
Formed: 1926[1]
South end: US 61 at Laplace, LA
I-20 at Jackson, MS

I-40 at Memphis, TN
I-57 at Mounds, IL
I-70 at Vandalia, IL
I-72 at Decatur, IL
I-55 / I-74 at Bloomington, IL
I-80 at La Salle, IL
I-88 at Rochelle, IL
I-90 at Rockford, IL
I-39 / I-90 / I-94 at Madison, WI

North end: US 2 at Hurley, WI
United States Numbered Highways

U.S. Route 51 is a north–south United States highway that runs for 1,286 miles (2,070 km) from northern Wisconsin to the western suburbs of New Orleans, Louisiana. Much of the highway in Wisconsin and Illinois runs parallel to or overlaps Interstate 39. The highway's northern terminus is Hurley, Wisconsin, at U.S. Highway 2. Its southern terminus is Laplace, Louisiana, at U.S. Highway 61.

In addition to singing about U.S. Highway 61 on his album Highway 61 Revisited, musician Bob Dylan also commemorated Highway 51, covering Curtis Jones' folk song "Highway 51 Blues" on his eponymous album Bob Dylan.

In Memphis, Tennessee, all of U.S. 51 south of South Parkway East was renamed from Bellevue Boulevard to Elvis Presley Boulevard. Graceland sits on this highway, in the subdivision of Whitehaven.

In 2004, the six states that Highway 51 traverses banded together as the Explore Hwy 51 Coalition to help promote this "All-American Road". The group now offers visitor information for traveling the length of the road.[2]


Route description



U.S. 51 crosses the Mississippi/Louisiana border a few miles north of Kentwood and continues to parallel Interstate 55 until just below its interchanges with LA 3234 and U.S. 190 it joins I-55 just south of Hammond at Exit 28. From Hammond, the two highways, cosigned, cross the swamps between Ponchatoula and Laplace on viaducts to Interstate 10, where I-55 ends. U.S. 51 continues southwestward into Laplace where it meets its end at U.S. 61 (Airline Highway).

Before the construction of I-55, U.S. 51 was routed along what is now U.S. 51 Business between Hammond and Ponchatoula. U.S. 51 Business ends at the joined I-55/U.S. 51 south of Ponchatoula. From this point southward, while U.S. 51 is joined with I-55, the former routing of U.S. 51 lies at ground level just to the east of I-55/U.S. 51 and carries no designation. While the southern terminus of U.S. 51 is in Laplace at U.S. 61, it was once co-signed with U.S. 61 into downtown New Orleans. However, it was originally slated to head toward New Orleans along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain via the New Orleans-Hammond Highway (old LA 33), which was never completed.


U.S. 51 enters the Magnolia State from Tennessee at Southaven and parallels Interstate 55 to the east for much of its length, except for the section between the Tennessee line and Grenada, where it parallels the highway to the west. From Memphis, U.S. 51 passes through Senatobia, Grenada, Winona and Canton before reaching Jackson.

At the Jackson-Ridgeland line, U.S. 51 overlaps I-55 from Exit 103 (County Line Road) to Exit 96A (Pearl Street) downtown. The split is only temporary as the highway traverses Pearl, Pascagoula and State streets and meets I-55 again at Exit 93 (Interstate 20/I-55/State Street interchange). The Natchez Trace parkway is crossed near Clinton. The Natchez Trace Parkway is a 444 mile (715 km) long parkway, in the form of a limited-access two-lane road, in the southeastern United States. The southern end of the route is in Natchez, Mississippi, at an intersection with Liberty Road; the northern end is northeast of Fairview, Tennessee, in the suburban community of Pasquo, Tennessee, at an intersection with Tennessee 100. The road links the cities of Natchez, Mississippi, and Nashville, Tennessee, via Jackson and Tupelo, Mississippi, and Florence in northwestern Alabama. [1]

The two highways run together until Exit 72 (North Crystal Springs). The highway then parallels the interstate through Hazelhurst, Brookhaven and McComb until it reaches the Louisiana border.

The Mississippi section of U.S. 51 is defined at Mississippi Code Annotated § 65-3-3.


US 51 travels through Memphis and up to the Kentucky border in the Mississippi valley. It is planned to become or be bypassed by Interstate 69 through Tennessee.


U.S 51 enters Kentucky at Fulton, and continues north through the towns of Clinton,Bardwell and Wickliffe to the Ohio River, where it is multiplexed with U.S highways 60 and 62 over the Ohio.


In the state of Illinois, U.S. 51 runs north from the Cairo Ohio River Bridge with U.S. Route 60 and U.S. Route 62, through Decatur, Illinois to South Beloit at the Wisconsin border. For all but the northern 1/4 mile (1/2 km) that Interstate 39 runs in Illinois, U.S. 51 overlaps I-39. Previous routings of U.S. 51 became Illinois Route 251 and Illinois Route 351.

U.S. 51 is the main route that divides eastern and western Illinois. It is 415.95 miles (669.41 km) long in Illinois.[3]


In the state of Wisconsin, U.S. 51 enters from Illinois at Beloit. U.S. 51 splits off from Interstate 39 in Beloit and continues north through Janesville and Edgerton. In Edgerton, U.S. 51 rejoins Interstate 39 and Interstate 90 for three and a half miles before splitting off towards Stoughton and McFarland. U.S. 51 runs almost parallel to Interstates 39 and 90 through the eastern portion of Madison, crosses the interstate in DeForest, and finally rejoins the interstate at Portage. U.S. 51 runs concurrently with Interstate 39 until I-39's terminus in Wausau and continues on as a freeway until just north of the intersection with U.S. Route 8. From there through Hazelhurst, U.S. 51 is a two-lane road with sporadic three-lane sections (which were recently constructed in 2008). U.S. 51 expands to four lanes with a central fifth turn lane from Hazelhurst to Arbor Vitae; north of Arbor Vitae it returns to two lanes and continues to its northern terminus in Hurley where it junctions with US 2.

See also

Related routes


  1. ^ a b US Highways from US 1 to US 830 Robert V. Droz
  2. ^ Explore Highway 51 Coalition
  3. ^ Illinois Technology Transfer Center (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Retrieved 2007-11-08. 

External links

US blank.svg Main U.S. Routes
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40 41 42 43 44 45 46 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59
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Lists  U.S. Routes - Bannered - Divided - Bypassed - Portal
Browse numbered routes
< LA 50 LA LA 52 >
< MS 50 MS MS 53 >
< KY 49 KY US 52 >
< US 50 IL US 52 >
< WIS 50 WI WIS 52 >


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