Memorial Day weekend travelers asked to plan ahead, buckle up, be patient, and safe

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and its Division of State Patrol are asking Memorial Day weekend travelers to plan ahead, buckle up, expect slower traffic in work zones and along major travel corridors.

Peak travel times are expected to occur between noon and 8 p.m. on Friday (May 24) and Monday (May 27). Construction in most highway work zones will stop by noon on Friday (May 24) and will not resume until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 28. While workers will open as many lanes as possible, motorists still need to be patient, alert and watch their speed.

“The State Patrol and other police agencies will be out enforcing traffic laws and assisting stranded motorists, but ultimately, safety along our highways is in the hands of responsible drivers,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said.

To help prevent traffic deaths and injuries, law enforcement agencies across Wisconsin are participating in the Click It or Ticket seat belt mobilization that continues through June 2. Other important traffic safety reminders:

  • Slow down. Posted speed limits apply to ideal travel conditions. Drivers are required to travel at a “reasonable and prudent” speed based on weather and traffic conditions.
  • Eliminate distractions and focus on what’s ahead. Texting while driving is prohibited and very dangerous. It is also illegal in Wisconsin for drivers to use a handheld mobile device in work zones (except in an emergency).
  • Be prepared to move over or slow down when approaching emergency responders including police and fire vehicles, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles that are stopped along a highway with their warning lights flashing. If your vehicle breaks down, try to get safely off the highway, remain buckled up and wait for help to arrive.

Significant road construction projects that may impact Memorial Day weekend travel:

  • Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties: I-41/94 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, turn restrictions, and reduced speeds.
  • Dane and Columbia counties: Northbound US 151 from Sun Prairie to Columbus is reduced to a single lane.
  • Monroe County: I-90 is reduced to one lane in each direction between Sparta and Tomah. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph.
  • Winnebago, Calumet and Outagamie counties: Eastbound and westbound US 10 have reduced lanes and lane shifts. The speed limit in the WIS 441 work zone is reduced to 55 mph.
  • Fond du Lac County: US 45 in the village of Eden is closed to through traffic. Detour uses US 151, I-41 and WIS 28.
  • 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 will be detoured at the I-43/US 151 intersection. Detour will follow US 151 to the intersection with US 10.
    • Westbound US 10 will be detoured at intersection with US 151. Traffic will be detoured via US 151 and I-43.
    • Eastbound WIS 42 will be detoured at the intersection with I-43. Detour will follow I-43 and WIS 310.
    • Westbound WIS 42 will be detoured at the intersection with WIS 310. Detour will follow WIS 310 and I-43.
  • Vilas County: US 51/WIS 47 in the towns of Woodruff and Arbor Vitae is reduced to one lane in each direction with a 12-foot-width restriction.
  • Portage County: Business 51 in the villages of Plover and Whiting is reduced to one lane in each direction with a 12-foot-width restriction.
  • Marquette County: WIS 23 in the city of Montello is closed to through traffic as the roadway is reconstructed. Traffic is detoured via I-39, WIS 21, and WIS 22.
  • Wood County: WIS 97 (Central Avenue) in Marshfield is reduced to one lane in each direction with a 12-foot-width restriction.
  • Marathon County: The 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.
  • Buffalo County: The WIS 35 bridges just south of Fountain City will be reduced to a single 11-foot lane with the use of temporary signals.
  • Barron County: WIS 25 will be closed between US 8 and WIS 48. Detour uses US 8, US 53, and WIS 48.
  • Sawyer County: WIS 27 in Hayward is restricted to two lanes for resurfacing.
  • Sawyer County: US 63 between Hayward and Seeley is closed and detoured via WIS 77 and County OO.

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:

Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicle customer service centers will be closed on Memorial Day, but citizens can conduct DMV business online 24/7 at wisconsindmv.gov.