Memorial Day weekend travelers asked to plan ahead, buckle up, be patient and safe
While most highway construction is being put on hold, motorists will likely encounter work zones requiring reduced speed, extra caution
WISCONSIN — To enhance traffic flow and accommodate higher traffic volumes expected over the Memorial Day weekend, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) will temporarily halt construction work on many highway improvement projects across the state. Although workers will open as many highway lanes as possible, motorists should still allow extra travel time and expect slower traffic in work zones and during peak travel periods.
Construction in most highway work zones will stop by noon on Friday, May 25, and will not resume until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 29. Peak travel times for the holiday weekend are expected to occur between noon and 8 p.m. on both Friday, May 25, and Monday, May 28.
“For the safety of motorists and workers, most highway construction is being put on hold for the holiday weekend, but drivers will still need to be patient and alert for slowing traffic, especially in work zones,” said WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross. “The State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will be out enforcing traffic laws and assisting stranded motorists. We’re asking all motorists to plan ahead, buckle up, watch their speed and celebrate responsibly.”
To help prevent traffic deaths and injuries, law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are watching for unbuckled motorists as part of the Click It or Ticket mobilization that continues through June 3rd. Other important traffic safety reminders:
- Posted speed limits apply to ideal travel conditions. Drivers are required to slow to a “reasonable and prudent” speed based on weather and traffic conditions.
- State law allows law enforcement to stop and cite motorists for failing to wear a safety belt. Drivers can also be cited for every unbuckled passenger in their vehicle. Penalties are higher for transporting unrestrained children.
- Except for emergencies, it is illegal in Wisconsin for drivers to use a handheld mobile device in work zones. Texting while driving is prohibited at all times.
- The state’s Move Over law requires drivers to slow down or shift lanes when coming upon emergency response vehicles stopped along a roadway with warning lights flashing. This includes police and fire vehicles, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles.
Significant (local area) road construction projects that may impact Memorial Day weekend travel:
- Portage County: WIS 54 over I-39 is reduced to a single lane with temporary traffic signals controlling one-way movements (no impacts are anticipated on I-39).
- Waupaca and Outagamie counties: WIS 96 is closed and detoured at the US 45 intersection via WIS 110, US 10 and WIS 76.
- Dane and Rock counties: motorists on I-39/90 should be alert for lane shifts and crossovers.