Nestled along the mighty Mississippi River, Prairie du Chien residents and businesses take pleasure in the community’s strategic position in the panorama of Southwest Wisconsin. Access to various modes of transportation has proven to be one of the area’s most important assets. Quality highway systems, railroad facilities, air transportation and water transport are key components to the high standard of life for residents, travelers and businesses alike.
Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, is the second-oldest city in the state and is the oldest city on the Upper Mississippi River. Prairie du Chien is ideally situated along two of the Midwest’s most scenic highways. The Great River Road extends both north and south of the city, embracing 250 miles of the meandering Mississippi River. Views from this beautiful highway are considered to be among the best scenery in the nation. Highway 60, stretching from Prairie du Chien to Lodi, follows the historic Wisconsin River. Both routes are designated National Scenic Byways linking more than 30 quaint river towns and plenty of recreational sites. As an added bonus, both routes are major flyways for dozens of migratory water fowl, eagles and other species of birds.
The city is convenient to U.S. Highway 18 and State Highways 35, 27 and 60, with a link to Iowa across the Mississippi made available via the Marquette-Joliet Bridge. Interstate 90 is reachable within 60 miles at its junction in La Crosse. Prairie du Chien is serviced by several major truck carriers and the Coulee Cab Company, which provides taxicab service throughout the area, and the Southwest Mississippi Regional Transport or S.M.R.T Bus, serving three area counties.
The main line of the Burlington Northern-Santa Fe Railroad and the Wisconsin & Southern Railroad service the area on land, while waterway service is available through the port of Prairie du Chien on the Upper Mississippi River. The waterway links Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico. The port handles some 600,000 metric tons of cargo each year, including coal, salt, sand, cement, grain and fertilizer.
The city-operated airport, adjacent to the new Crossing Rivers Health Center, is composed of two runways; one spanning 5,000 feet by 75 feet, and the other 4,000 feet by 75 feet. Corporate jets utilize the airport, and the facility offers charter and jet fuel services. In total, the airport houses 20 aircraft and sees approximately 12,500 arrivals and departures annually.
A new $1 million terminal was contructed in 2017.
Commercial air service is available at nearby Dubuque Regional Airport, offering three daily flights to Chicago via American Eagle Airlines; La Crosse Municipal Airport, with 10 daily flights provided by Delta Airlines and American Airlines; and Dane County Regional Airport in Madison, with more than 100 daily commercial flights every day through six carriers.