Most Highway Projects on Hold for Fourth of July Holiday Travel
For the City-Times
To accommodate heavy holiday traffic, construction on most major highway projects in Wisconsin will be suspended during the Fourth of July weekend. However, motorists might still encounter narrow lanes and lane shifts, which require reduced speeds in work zones, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
“Most construction and planned repairs in work zones will cease by around noon on Thursday, July 3, and will resume on Monday, July 7. Peak travel times are expected to be between approximately noon and 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 3 and Sunday, July 6,” says Don Greuel of the WisDOT Project Services Section. “Throughout the holiday period, traffic will be heavy, so driving through work zones will require caution and patience. To prevent crashes, drivers must 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, four people died in traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the Fourth of July holiday period, from 6 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 to midnight on Sunday, July 7.
“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 State Patrol Bureau of Transportation Safety. “The goal is not to write more tickets. We’re simply trying to motivate drivers to comply voluntarily with traffic laws during the holiday period and throughout the year.”
The State Patrol also will be using its aircraft for aerial enforcement. The dates, times and locations of many of the aerial enforcement missions will be announced in advance on Twitter (@WisconsinDOT, #WisDOT), according to Pabst.
Road construction projects that may impact travel and where motorists may encounter significant delays especially during peak travel periods include:
- Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee County
- Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee County
- I-94 north-south corridor, reduced to two lanes between WIS 142 and WIS 158 in Kenosha County, and at the WIS 20 interchange in Racine County
- Verona Road and the Madison Beltline in Dane County
- US 12 in Dane County, Fish Hatchery Road to I-39/90 and Mineral Point Road to Terrace Avenue
- I-39/90/94 and US 151 interchange in Dane County
- I-90 near La Crosse/Onalaska
North Central Region:
- US 51/County U/K interchange in Marathon County
- US 51 in Minocqua/Woodruff between Old Highway 70 and 3rd Avenue
- WIS 23 between Green Lake and Ripon, traffic detoured during construction
- Bong Bridge between Duluth and Superior
- WIS 13 near Cornucopia
- US 41 in Brown County is reduced to two lanes with narrow lanes and limited shoulders
- US 41 will be reduced from three to two lanes in both directions in Winnebago County
- US 141 bridge over the Wausaukee River in Marinette County – northbound traffic will remain open, southbound traffic will be detoured through the village of Wausaukee
For up-to-the-minute information on work zones and incidents that may affect highway travel, motorists can use the state’s 511 travel information system by dialing 511 on a phone or visiting Wisconsin 511 online (http://511wi.gov/Web/). Statewide travel information is also now available via Twitter-Wisconsin 511 (https://twitter.com/511WI). Easy links to various 511 Twitter sites, as well as to other WisDOT social media sites, are available on WisDOT’s Stay Connected web page (http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/util/stayconnected.htm). 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.