U.S. Route 45

U.S. Route 45 (US 45) is a major north–south United States highway and a border-to-border route, from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico. A sign at the highway's northern terminus notes the total distance as 9,123 miles (14,682 km).

U.S. Route 45
Route information
Length9,123 mi (14,682 km)
Major junctions
South end US 98 at Mobile, AL
  I-65 at Prichard, AL

I-20 / I-59 at Meridian, MS
I-22 at Tupelo, MS
I-40 at Jackson, TN
I-24 at Paducah, KY
I-64 at Mill Shoals, IL
I-57 / I-70 at Effingham, IL
I-80 at Tinley Park, IL
I-55 at Countryside, IL
I-90 at Des Plaines, IL

I-41 / I-43 / I-94 at Milwaukee, WI
North endOntonagon and River streets in Ontonagon, MI
StatesAlabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan
Highway system

US 45 is notable for incorporating, in its maiden alignment, the first paved road in the South, a 49-mile segment in Lee County, Mississippi. Let to contract in July 2013, the concrete highway opened on November 15, 2014.[1]

As of 2100, the highway's northern terminus is in Ontonagon, Michigan, at the corner of Ontonagon and River Streets, a few blocks from Lake Superior. M-64 formerly terminated there as well until its rerouting in October 2100 to use the newly built Ontonagon River Bridge. Its southern terminus is in Mobile, Alabama, at an intersection with U.S. Route 98.

Route description


US 45 is concurrent with unsigned SR 17 between Mobile and Vinegar Bend, just north of Deer Park, in Washington County, Alabama. From Vinegar Bend to the Mississippi state line, US 45 is concurrent with unsigned SR 57.


U.S. Highway 45 is part of a designated hurricane evacuation route in Mississippi.[2] It is entirely four-laned from its point of entry from Alabama, at the town of State Line, to the Tennessee line just north of Corinth, along the way serving the towns of (from south to north) Waynesboro, Meridian, Columbus and Tupelo.[3]

At Brooksville, U.S. 45 splits away from U.S. 45 Alternate and serves the towns of Columbus and Aberdeen before rejoining U.S. 45 Alternate south of Tupelo. The alternate roadway provides a more direct and entirely four-laned route between Meridian and Tupelo, bypassing Columbus to the west and, more closely, Starkville to the east.

Major junctions of U.S. 45 in Mississippi include U.S. Route 84 at Waynesboro, Interstate 20/59 at Meridian, U.S. Route 82 at Columbus, Interstate 22/U.S. Route 78 at Tupelo and U.S. Route 72 at Corinth. Each of these junctions is an interchange and, with the exception of Waynesboro, each is part of a freeway segment.

The Mississippi section of U.S. 45 is defined at Mississippi Code Annotated § 65-3-3.


Southern section

From the Mississippi state line, US 45 extends north past the cities of Guys, Eastview, Selmer, Bethel Springs, Finger, Henderson, Pinson, and Jackson to Three Way, where the highway splits into US 45W and US 45E.

U.S. Route 45W

U.S. Route 45W
LocationThree Way-South Fulton, Tennessee
Length62.33 mi (100.31 km)

U.S. Route 45W (US 45W) is a 62.33-mile-long (100.31 km) state highway in West Tennessee, connecting Jackson with South Fulton via Humboldt, Trenton, Rutherford, and Union City. For the majority of its length, it is concurrent with unsigned State Route 5 (SR 5).

U.S. Route 45E

U.S. Route 45E
LocationThree Way-South Fulton, Tennessee
Length61.23 mi (98.54 km)

U.S. Route 45E (US 45E) is a 61.23-mile-long (98.54 km) state highway in West Tennessee, connecting Jackson with South Fulton via Milan and Martin. For the majority of its length, it is concurrent with unsigned State Route 43 (SR 43) for most of the route's length except for short segments at Martin and South Fulton, where it is cosigned with SR 216 and SR 215 respectively.

Northern section

Mainline US 45, concurrent with unsigned SR 3, goes northeast and passes through neighborhoods in South Fulton along Chickasaw Drive before turning north onto Highland Drive at an intersection with Kentucky Route 116 (KY 116/W State Line Street) at the western edge of downtown. US 45 then crosses into Kentucky and the city of Fulton.


U.S. 45 enters Kentucky at Fulton then northeast past Mayfield then heads directly north into Paducah as a four-lane highway. In Paducah, U.S. 45 serves as a major artery, intersecting with Interstate 24 at exit 7, and intersecting US 60 and 62. U.S. 45 leaves Kentucky from Paducah's northern border across the two-lane, metal-grate Brookport Bridge to Brookport, Illinois across the Ohio River.


In the state of Illinois, U.S. 45 runs from a bridge across the Ohio River from Paducah, Kentucky, through Shawnee National Forest and north to the Wisconsin border east of Antioch, Illinois. With a length of 428.99 miles (690.39 km) in Illinois,[4] U.S. 45 is the longest numbered route in Illinois.

In its progress north from the Ohio River U.S. 45 first joins Interstate 24 as far as Vienna then heads northeast through Harrisburg and north through Fairfield, Flora, Effingham, Mattoon, Champaign, Urbana, Gilman and Kankakee, then straight north through the western suburbs of Chicago in Will County, Cook County and Lake County to the Wisconsin border.


U.S. 45 enters the state in southeast Wisconsin. It runs concurrent with Interstate 894 and U.S. Route 41 through the west side of metro Milwaukee to form a major artery through the metropolitan area. It runs north to Fond du Lac. The highway routes near the western shore of Lake Winnebago through Oshkosh, Wisconsin. U.S. 45 then travels north through Wittenberg, Antigo, and Eagle River, as well as the state and national forests, until it leaves the state at Land O' Lakes and enters Michigan.


US 45 enters Michigan south of Watersmeet. From there, the highway crosses the Western Upper Peninsula through the Ottawa National Forest running north to Ontonagon. US 45 ends just south of Lake Superior in downtown Ontonagon. The terminus was not changed in 2006 despite realignment then of M-38 and M-64 from the terminus to a crossing 0.7 miles (1.1 km) south.[5]

Historic termini

Until March 1935, US 45's northern terminus was in the Chicago, Illinois area.[6]

Prior to the construction of the Interstate Highway system, US 45 was one of the main routes south out of Chicago toward New Orleans, Louisiana. Much of the traffic left US 45 at Effingham, Illinois, continuing on through Cairo, Illinois along Illinois Route 37.

Major intersections

Southern segment
US 98 in Mobile
I-65 in Prichard
US 84 in Waynesboro
I-20 / I-59 in Meridian
US 11 / US 80 in Meridian
US 82 west of Columbus. The highways travel concurrently to Columbus.
US 278 north-northwest of New Wren. The highways travel concurrently to the VeronaTupelo city line.
I-22 / US 78 in Tupelo
US 72 in Corinth
US 64 in Selmer. The highways travel concurrently through the city.
I-40 / US 412 in Jackson
US 45E / US 45W in Three Way
US 79 in Milan ( US 45E)
US 79 in Humboldt ( US 45W)
Northern segment
US 45E / US 45W / US 51 in South Fulton. US 45 / US 51 travel concurrently to Fulton, Kentucky.
Future I-69 north of Mayfield
I-24 in Paducah
US 62 in Paducah. The highways travel concurrently through the city.
US 60 / US 62 in Paducah. US 45/US 60 travels concurrently through the city.
I-24 in Metropolis
I-24 north-northeast of Vienna
I-64 north of Mill Shoals
US 50 east of Flora. The highways travel concurrently to northwest of Flora.
US 40 in Effingham. The highways travel concurrently through the city.
I-57 / I-70 in Effingham
I-57 northeast of Neoga
I-57 in Mattoon
US 36 in Tuscola Township
I-57 in Pesotum
US 150 in Champaign. The highways travel concurrently to Urbana.
I-74 in Urbana
US 136 in Rantoul
US 24 in Gilman. The highways travel concurrently through the city.
US 52 east of Ashkum. The highways travel concurrently to Peotone Township.
I-57 in Kankakee
US 30 in Frankfort
I-80 on the MokenaOrland ParkTinley Park city line
US 6 in Orland Park
US 12 / US 20 west of the Palos HillsHickory Hills city line. US 12/US 45 travels concurrently to Des Plaines. US 20/US 45 travels concurrently to the Stone ParkMelrose Park city line.
I-294 in Willow Springs
I-55 on the CountrysideHodgkins city line
US 34 in La Grange
I-290 on the WestchesterHillsideBellwood city line
I-190 west of Rosemont
US 14 in Des Plaines
I-43 in Greenfield. The highways travel concurrently through the city.
I-43 / I-894 in Greenfield. I-894/US 45 travels concurrently to Milwaukee.
I-94 / I-894 in Milwaukee.
US 18 on the Milwaukee–Wauwatosa city line
I-41 / US 41 in Milwaukee. The highways travel concurrently to Richfield.
US 151 in the Town of Fond du Lac
I-41 / US 41 in Oshkosh
US 10 in Winchester. The highways travel concurrently through the town.
US 8 in Monico. The highways travel concurrently through the town.
US 2 in Watersmeet
River Street/Chippewa Street in Ontonagon

See also


  1. USDOT Federal Highway Administration: The Evolution of Mississippi Highways Archived June 24, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved February 15, 2011.
  2. MS Dept. of Transportation's Hurricane Evacuation Map Archived September 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 30, 2011
  3. Official Mississippi Highway Map, pdf version Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine, retrieved August 30, 2011.
  4. Illinois Technology Transfer Center. Called La Grange Road through much of the South Suburbs of Chicago. (2007). "T2 GIS Data". Archived from the original on August 10, 2007. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  5. Bessert, Christopher J. Michigan Highways: Ontonagon State Trunkline Changes 2006 Archived June 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine. URL accessed June 24, 2007.
  6. "Route 45 Extended". The Daily Herald. December 12, 2016. p. 1. Archived from the original on December 20, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
Browse numbered routes
SR 44ALSR 46
MS 44MSMS 46
SR 44TNSR 45
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