NEWS RELEASE -- To help holiday travelers reach their destination efficiently and safely, construction work on most major highway projects will be suspended during the three-day Memorial Day weekend, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Most construction in work zones will cease by noon on Friday, May 23, and will not resume until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 27.
"Although most lanes through work zones will be open to handle the heavy holiday traffic, drivers may still encounter narrow lanes, lane shifts and rough pavement," said Don Greuel, chief of WisDOT Project Services. "They will need to stay alert, slow down, and not tail-gate. Rear-end collisions caused primarily by distracted driving, speeding and following other vehicles too closely are the most frequent type of crash when approaching and driving through work zones. Peak travel times for the Memorial Day weekend are expected to be from noon until 8 p.m. on both Friday, May 23, and Monday, May 26."
During the Memorial Day weekend last year, there were five traffic fatalities in Wisconsin. On average during the last five years, eight people died in Memorial Day weekend traffic crashes, according to WisDOT.
To prevent needless traffic deaths and injuries, nearly 400 law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will be out in force during the holiday weekend to crackdown on unbuckled drivers and passengers as part of the "Click It or Ticket" mobilization, which runs until June 1.
"Click It or Ticket is more than just a slogan. Whenever officers see an unbelted motorist, they will stop the vehicle and issue a citation," says David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Approximately one out of five motorists in Wisconsin does not wear a safety belt, and more than half of the drivers and passengers killed in crashes last year were not buckled up."
Significant road construction projects that may affect highway travel during the Memorial Day weekend include the following:
• Hoan Bridge in Milwaukee
• 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
• US 51/County U/K interchange in Marathon County
• US 51 (Minocqua/Woodruff) reduced to one lane in each direction between Old Hwy 70 and 3rd Avenue
• WIS 23 between Green Lake and Ripon, traffic detoured during construction
• Bong Bridge between Duluth and Superior
• St. Croix Crossing at Stillwater, MN
• I-94 between Menomonie and Black River Falls
• US 41 in Brown County
• US 41 will be reduced from three to two lanes in both directions in Winnebago County
Travelers can check online for real-time traffic information, including travel times, lane closures and incidents, at Wisconsin 511 online or by calling 511 on a phone.