US 53, Trego Interchange - Washburn County


US 53, just south of US 53/County E intersection, between Spooner and Minong, town of Trego - Washburn County.


To improve safety along US 53 in Washburn County, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation plans to build a new interchange just south of the existing US 53/County E. Additional modifications to the roadways include:

  • County E/Oak Hill Drive
    • The at-grade intersection of US 53 with County E/Oak Hill Drive will be eliminated. Access to properties along County E and Oak Hill Drive will be provided via the newly constructed interchange and frontage road system.
  • US 63/Liesch Road
    • The at-grade intersection of US 53 with US 63/Liesch Road will be eliminated. Access to properties along Liesch Road will be provided via a westerly frontage road that will connect to existing County E and  Benson Boulevard, Wood Drive and Liesch Road.
    • Access to properties along existing US 63 between US 53 and Wild Rivers State Trail will be provided via the new US 53/US 63 interchange and realigned US 63 or the easterly frontage road along US 53. 
  • Uncle Mike's Bar and Grill and Wild River Sport & Marine
    • A shared private entrance along US 53 providing access to Uncle Mike's Bar and Grill and Wild River Sport & Marine will be eliminated. Access to these businesses will be provided via a new westerly frontage road that will connect to Mackey Road and the new interchange.

The project has an estimated cost of $15-20 million.

Project Need

Crashes that have occurred along US 53 in the Trego area result in a fatality rate that exceeds the state average for similar type facilities (3.2 compared to 1.8 per million miles of vehicular traffic). In addition, seasonal peaks in traffic due to high tourism in the summer result in significant traffic delays at the US 53/US 63 at-grade intersection for westbound US 63 traffic wanting to enter US 53.

Traffic Impacts

It is anticipated that US 53 and US 63 will remain open to traffic during construction.

  • At times, local roads may be closed to accommodate different stages of construction.
  • US 53 is expected to be reduced to a single lane in each direction.
  • Temporary traffic signals will be used at the existing intersection of US 53 and US 63 throughout most of construction.
  • Traffic Control Year 1
  • Traffic Control Year 2

Access to businesses will be maintained during construction, although alternative routes will most likely be required due to temporary or permanent closures of existing intersections along US 53.


Final design and real estate acquisition will occur between fall 2018 and fall 2020. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2021 and continue through fall 2022. 

Public Notice

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is seeking comments by June 18, 2020, from anyone interested in commenting on the proposed removal of the wooden access stairway leading down to the Namekagon River in the town of Trego. Comments can be submitted by:

Project Documents


Beth Cunningham
WisDOT Northwest Region Project Manager
(715) 635-4973

Andrew Stensland
WisDOT Northwest Region Project Supervisor
(715) 392-7963

Christena T. O'Brien
WisDOT Northwest Region Communications Manager
(715) 833-9814, (715) 828-9471

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT)
Northwest Region, Superior Office
1701 N. Fourth Ave.
Superior, WI 54880
(715) 392-7925, (800) 590-1868