To accommodate heavy traffic expected during the three-day Fourth of July holiday weekend, construction on most major highway projects in Wisconsin will be suspended at noon on Friday, July 1 and will not resume until Tuesday, July 5. However, motorists may still encounter narrow lanes and lane shifts, which require reduced speeds in work zones, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
“Peak travel times are expected between approximately noon and 8 p.m. on Friday and Monday,” says Don Greuel with WisDOT’s Project Services Section. “Traffic will be heavy throughout the holiday period, so driving through work zones will require caution and patience. To prevent crashes, drivers need to slow down, pay attention and not follow other vehicles too closely when approaching and traveling through work zones. Rear-end collisions caused primarily by speeding, distracted driving and tailgating are the most frequent type of crash in work zones.”
Last year, five people died in a traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the Fourth of July holiday period, which ran from Friday, July 3, through Sunday, July 5.
“To help prevent needless deaths and injuries from traffic crashes, the Wisconsin State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will be out in force during the holiday weekend to crackdown on speeding, tailgating, distracted driving, unbuckled drivers and passengers, as well as drunken driving,” says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Significant road construction projects that may affect highway travel during the holiday weekend include the following:
- Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee County – lane closures on I-94 eastbound at Sunny Slope Road and on I-41/I-894 northbound at National Ave. The system ramp from I-94 westbound to I-41/I-894 southbound and various other exit and entrance ramps remain closed.
- Lakefront Gateway project in downtown Milwaukee – access to the lakefront at Lincoln Memorial Drive is closed. Posted detours show alternate access to lakefront destinations and locations to re-enter the freeway system.
- In Elkhorn, the US 12/County NN Interchange has closures on its on/off ramps affecting travel to the Lake Geneva area. Adjacent collector/distributor roadways remain open providing access to I-43 ramps. Detour routes are posted.
- I-41/US 45 rehabilitation project in Washington County – a single lane closure on I-41/US 45 northbound from County Q to the I-41/US 45 split will be in effect from Thursday evening (June 30) until noon Friday (July 1).
- I-39/90 in Dane and Rock counties – new exit ramp location from I-39/90 southbound to WIS 59 (Exit 163) near Edgerton and Newville. Ramps to/from I-39/90 northbound at US 51 interchange (Exit 156) are closed until late September 2016. Alternate routes are required.
- Madison Beltline and Verona Road (US 18/151) interchange in Dane County.
- I-90 in La Crosse reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction.
- US 51 in Marathon County – single lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph between Decator Drive and County WW.
- WIS 29 in Marathon County – single lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph between Sunrise Drive and Business 51.
- US 51 in Oneida County – passing lanes between Rocky Run Road and South Blue Lake Road are closed. US 51 remains open to one lane of traffic in each direction.
- Business 51 (Post Road) in Portage County – single lane closures and temporary traffic signals between Green Drive and Springville Drive.
- WIS 54/Wood and Portage County U intersection – single lane closures and a reduced speed limit of 55 mph.
- I-41 in Brown County – there are narrowed travel lanes and shoulders in several locations and reduced speeds to 55 mph from Grant Street to Lineville Road. Also, the southbound I-41 off-ramp to Velp Avenue remains closed with a marked detour.
- I-43 and I-43/I-41 interchange in Brown County – I-43 between Atkinson Drive and I-41 is reduced to a single lane in each direction with speed reduced to 55 mph. The southbound I-41 off-ramp to I-43 remains closed with a marked detour. Also, the northbound I-43 ramp to I-41 southbound remains closed.
- Eastbound WIS 172 to southbound I-41 ramp closed June 20 for about six weeks to connect the existing ramp with new construction.
- Eastbound WIS 172 traffic seeking southbound I-41 will be detoured east on WIS 172 to Vanderperren Way, to Ashland Avenue and back to southbound I-41.
- In Manitowoc County, I-43 will be down to one lane near the village of Cleveland. Travelers can use I-41 as an alternate route north or south.
- US 10 eastbound between Winnebago County CB and I-41 northbound is reduced to a single lane.
- In Marinette County – US 141 southbound is closed in the village of Wausaukee from WIS 180 to north village of Wausaukee limit. A detour using local streets is posted.
For up-to-the-minute information on work zones and incidents that may affect highway travel, motorists can access the state’s 511 travel information system by downloading the free 511 Wisconsin mobile app or following @511WI on Twitter. Users can also access the system by dialing 511 on a phone or visiting 511wi.gov on the web. To eliminate distractions while behind the wheel, drivers should use mobile communication devices only when their vehicle is completely stopped and off the traveled portion of the roadway.