End of US highway 51
|Approx. time period||North terminus||South terminus|
|1926-1951||Hurley, WI (downtown)||New Orleans, LA|
|1951-1986||Hurley, WI (northwest)||Laplace, LA (old)|
|1986-present||Hurley, WI (northwest)||Laplace, LA (new)|
The north end of US 51 has always been in Hurley WI, although the endpoint may have changed. Today US 2 bypasses Hurley to the north, but originally it may have made a loop through downtown Hurley. If so, then my guess is that US 51 would've ended at Silver Street. The photo below is looking north on 2nd Avenue:
Nelson, May 2008
Today US 51 continues about a mile ahead to its current terminus, but if US 2 originally used Silver, then US 51 probably would've ended here. The photo below was taken from eastbound Silver:
Nelson, May 2008
Originally I think US 51 began to the right on 2nd. To the left was westbound US 2, while eastbound was straight ahead. At some point (I'm guessing in the 1950s) US 2 was rerouted to its current alignment. When that happened, US 51 was extended north along old US 2, ending at the "new" US 2:
Osbaldeston, June 2001
From here, if you go east (right) on US 2, you cross the Montreal River into Ironwood MI. If you go west (left), you're heading toward Ashland and the twin ports of Superior WI and Duluth MN. The photo below was taken from westbound US 2:
Teresco, July 2003
There we're just coming down off a bridge over the river (which divides Ironwood and Hurley, as well as the states of Michigan and Wisconsin in this area), so southbound US 51 traffic exits right and loops back under US 2 behind the camera.
US 51 used to be signed further than it is now: from Laplace LA it was co-signed eastward with US 61 (and US 65) all the way down to New Orleans. Those three routes ended at the same place where a fourth route (US 11) ended: the intersection of Broad Street and Canal Street (you can view photos from there on this page).
In 1951, US 51 was truncated to its junction with US 61 in Laplace (west of New Orleans). Until fairly recently, US 51 traffic was routed along what is now Main Street, or "Old 51" according to some streetsigns in the area. The photo below is looking south on Main at its junction with US 61:
Gulyas, Oct. 2007
That's where US 51 used to end. Off the left side of the photo is a broad curve which is now closed to through traffic, but which used to provide a high-speed connection from northbound US 61 to northbound US 51.
In 1986, US 51 was rerouted along a newer alignment which bypasses the Old 51 neighborhood. The photo below shows where modern US 51 ends at US 61:
There was no "End" sign there - just the sign for each direction on US 61. The photo below shows the sign assembly one sees as they're heading north on US 61, just before the right-hand turn onto the beginning of US 51:
That's more of a standard 4-way intersection; you can't make that right-hand turn as fast as you could onto the old US 51. Similar signage from southbound US 61:
"Jackx3" (Wikipedia contributor), Sep. 2006
If you take that left turn, you'll soon see the first northbound confirming marker: