Labor Day Holiday Travelers Asked to Buckle Up, Be Patient, and Safe

Most highway construction will come to a temporary stop, but motorists will need to be alert for work zones, reduced speed limits and potential slow-downs

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and its Division of State Patrol are asking Labor Day holiday travelers to buckle up, stay alert, and be prepared for slower traffic in work zones and along major travel corridors. Peak travel periods are expected between noon and 8 p.m. on Friday and during the same timeframe on Labor Day.

For the safety of motorists and workers, construction on most highway projects will stop by noon on Friday (August 30) and will not resume until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, September 3. Still, drivers are asked to be alert for work zones, lane restrictions and potential delays. During last year’s Labor Day holiday weekend in Wisconsin, traffic crashes resulted in seven fatalities and 355 injuries.

“The State Patrol and other law enforcement agencies will be working to help keep traffic moving safely and efficiently,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “But motorists need to do their part. That means buckle up, watch your speed, be patient and focused on the road ahead.”

Law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are working in greater numbers for longer hours as part of the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign that continues through Labor Day. Important safety tips for travelers:

  • Buckle up, slow down, eliminate distractions. On interstates and other multi-lane highways, keep right to the extent possible and don’t linger in the passing lane;
  • Move over or slow down when approaching emergency responders such as police and fire vehicles, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles that are stopped along a highway with their warning lights flashing.
  • Before heading out, ensure that trailers and any cargo are properly secured. If your vehicle breaks down, try to get safely off the highway. Remain buckled up in your vehicle and wait for help to arrive.

Significant road construction projects that may impact holiday travel:

  • I-41/94 in Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties has an 18.5-mile long construction work zone. There are three lanes available in both directions but some of the areas have narrow lanes and lane shifts. Southbound traffic has limited access to and from the Interstate. WIS 20 is the only full-service interchange available between Ryan Road and WIS 142. The entire length of the project has a reduced speed limit of 60 mph.
  • Dane and Rock counties: Motorists on I-39/90 and I-43 near Beloit should be alert for lane shifts, crossovers and reduced speeds.
  • Dane County: Verona Road (US 18/151) motorists should be alert for lane shifts and reduced speeds.
  • La Crosse County: I-90 is reduced to a single lane in each direction between La Crosse and West Salem. Drivers are asked to anticipate reduced speeds and a 55-mph speed limit.
  • Sauk County: US 12 is reduced to a single lane in each direction between Sauk City and Baraboo. Drivers should anticipate reduced speeds and a 55-mph speed limit through the work area.
  • Dane and Iowa counties: US 151 lane closures are in place throughout the roughly 20-mile stretch between Blue Mounds and Dodgeville. Speeds reduced to 55 mph in the work zones. 
  • Monroe County: I-90 is reduced to two lanes of bi-directional traffic from Sparta to Tomah. Drivers are asked to anticipate reduced speeds and a 55-mph speed limit.
  • Winnebago, Calumet and Outagamie counties: Lane reductions and lane shifts on US 10. The speed limit in the WIS 441 work zone is reduced to 55 mph.
  • Manitowoc County/City of Manitowoc: US 10 (Waldo Boulevard) is closed between 8th Street and Maritime Drive in the city of Manitowoc. WIS 42 is closed at Waldo Boulevard in the city of Manitowoc.
    • Eastbound US 10 is detoured at the intersection of I-43 and US 151. Traffic is detoured via US 151 east to the intersection with US 10.
    • Westbound US 10 is detoured at the intersection of US 151 and US 10. Traffic is detoured via US 151 west to I-43, north on I-43 to westbound US 10.
    • Eastbound WIS 42 is detoured at the intersection of I-43 and WIS 42. Traffic is detoured via I-43 north to WIS 310, east on WIS 310 to eastbound WIS 42.
    • Westbound WIS 42 is detoured at the intersection of WIS 310 and WIS 42. Traffic is detoured via WIS 310 west to I-43, south on I-43 to westbound WIS 42.
  • Marquette County: WIS 23 in Montello is closed to through traffic for reconstruction. Traffic is detoured via I-39, WIS 21, and WIS 22. Motorists can access local businesses in Montello via local streets.
  • Marathon County: Marathon County WW bridge in the village of Maine will be reduced to one 10 ½-foot-wide lane with the use of temporary signals.
  • Portage County: Business 51 (Post Road) in the village of Plover and Whiting is reduced to one lane in each direction with a 12-foot width restriction.
  • Wood County: WIS 97 (Central Avenue) in Marshfield is reduced to one lane in each direction with a 12-foot width restriction. Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds.
  • Vilas County: US 51 in the town of Arbor Vitae will be reduced to one lane in each direction between WIS 47 and WIS 70 east. Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds in the work area.
  • Lincoln County: WIS 86 over the Wisconsin River in Tomahawk is reduced to one lane with the use of temporary signals.
  • Lincoln County: WIS 17 north of Merrill at the Hay Meadow Creek is reduced to one lane with the use of temporary signals.
  • Buffalo County: WIS 35 bridges over the Mississippi River tributaries will have traffic signals controlling a single-lane closure. Motorists should anticipate delays in this area.
  • Dunn County: The Hay River Bridge (WIS 25) is closed between WIS 170 and County N. Traffic is detoured using WIS 170, County S and County N.
  • Dunn and St. Croix counties: Eastbound traffic through the I-94 construction zone west of Menomonie between WIS 128 and Wilson Creek has been shifted to the shoulder from County K to the east end of the project. Westbound traffic is running on temporary lanes. 650th Street and County K are closed to traffic. The speed limit has been reduced to 60 mph in each direction.
  • Sawyer County: US 63 from Hayward to Seeley is open to traffic. Passing lanes in Seeley and Cable will remain closed over the holiday, and motorists in this area should anticipate reduced speeds.
  • St. Croix County: Eastbound I-94 traffic is using temporary lanes east of Roberts as construction crews replace bridges over 130th Street and the Kinnickinnic River. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph.
  • St. Croix County: The Dry Rub Bridge (US 12) is closed. Traffic is detoured using I-94 via WIS 128 and US 63.
  • Trempealeau County: I-94 westbound traffic is using temporary lanes in the median northwest of Osseo, where bridges over County NN and the Buffalo River are being replaced. Motorists should anticipate reduced speeds.

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 visiting 511wi.gov on the web.