While most highway construction is being put on hold during the Memorial Day weekend, motorists will likely encounter work zones requiring reduced speed and extra caution, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.
During the holiday, the 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, the DOT said.
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, in a news release. “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 3. 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 road construction projects that may impact Memorial Day weekend travel:
- Milwaukee County: Work continues on the Zoo Interchange project with a new traffic pattern in place. Closures include the system ramp from I-94 westbound to I-41/894 southbound. Access to I-94 westbound is restricted at 84th St. The ramp remains open for traffic going to I-94 westbound or I-41 northbound. Various other on and off ramps remain under construction with detours posted.
- Milwaukee County: There is ongoing work along I-94 and the Marquette Interchange. Lane and ramp restrictions are in place on the High Rise/Valley Bridge. The ramp from I-94 eastbound to head southbound over the bridge is closed with a detour using the nearby Hoan Bridge (I-794).
- Milwaukee County: Ongoing work along I-894 between 84th St. and National Ave. A traffic shift is in place, along with a lane closed from I-43 northbound to I-894 northbound in the Hale Interchange.
- I-94 in Kenosha and Racine counties has impacts from the I-94 North-South project and local work due to the Foxconn development. Northbound lanes have only minimal ongoing work and no lane restrictions. Southbound I-94 is down to two lanes at Highway G in Racine County. Extensive delays are anticipated both Sunday and Monday as motorists return from the Northwoods. A reduced speed limit is in place for the southbound lanes between Highway G and Highsway 142 in Kenosha County.
- Racine County: Highway 45 north of Union Grove is closed to traffic as the roadway is reconstructed. Detours are posted.
- Walworth County: Highway 67 is closed to through traffic between Williams Bay and Elkhorn near the Lake Geneva Area. A detour route is posted along I-43 an Highway 50.
- Walworth County: Work along Highway 120 near Lake Geneva will require a 30-day closure of the Highway 12 interchange ramps beginning May 29. Motorists are being detoured to the nearby Highway 50 interchange.
- Dane and Rock counties: Motorists on I-39/90 should be alert for lane shifts and crossovers.
- Dane County: Verona Road (Highway18/151): Motorists should be alert for lane shifts and reduced speeds.
- Highway 151 in Dane and Columbia counties: Traffic is shifted and reduced to two lanes of traffic between Sun Prairie and Columbus.
- I-41 near Highsway 10 in Winnebago County: Northbound and southbound lanes of I-41 are reduced to two lanes in each direction and have a 55 mph speed reduction and lane shifts throughout the Highway 441 Tri-Project work zone. Eastbound and westbound Highway 10 also have reduced lanes and lane shifts with a 55 mph speed reduction through the work zone.
- Winnebago County: Highway 116 in the village of Omro and the village of Winneconne is closed and detoured. The Omro detour route includes Highway 21 to I-41 to Highway 45; the Winneconne detour route includes Highway 45 to Highway 41 to Highway 21.
- Manitowoc County: Highway 10 is closed and detoured in the village of Whitelaw. The detour route includes I-43 to Highway 151 and Highway W.
- Winnebago, Calumet and Outagamie counties: Eastbound and westbound Highway 10 have reduced lanes and lane shifts with a 55 mph speed reduction throughout the Highway 441 work zone.
- Brown County: Northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 41/Highway 141 at the Highway B interchange in the village of Suamico have reduced speeds (55 mph) and lane shifts.
- Waupaca and Outagamie counties: Highway 96 is closed and detoured at the Highway 45 intersection via Highway 110, Highway 10 and Highway 76.
- Portage County: Highway 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).
- Iron County: Highway 2 between Highway 122 and Highway B is reduced to a single lane with temporary traffic signals at a railroad crossing bridge.
- Oneida and Vilas counties: Highway 51/Highway 47 Woodruff/Arbor Vitae is reduced to one lane in each direction with a 12-foot width restriction.
- Price County: Highway 182 in the city of Park Falls is reduced to one lane with temporary signals at the Flambeau River Bridge.
- Dunn County: Highway 12 (Broadway Street) bridge in Menomonee – all traffic will be single lane on the westbound structure.
- St. Croix County: I-94 (Highway 35 – Highway 12) in Hudson will have nighttime single and double lane closures. Various ramps will be closed with signed detours.
- Douglas County: Highway 2/Belknap St. in Superior will have single lane closures from Hill Avenue to Ogden Avenue. A signed truck detour and alternate route are available.
- Bayfield County: Highway 2 bridge in Iron River – traffic is reduced to a single lane.
- Chippewa County: Highway 124 near the town of Eagle Point is closed for bridge construction. Detour route includes highways S, 53 and 64.
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.
Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicle customer service centers will be closed on Memorial Day, but residents can conduct DMV business online 24/7 at wisconsindmv.gov.