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Construction on most major highways will be suspended for Labor Day weekend

August 26, 2013

'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' crackdown on drunken driving continues

To minimize disruptions for Labor Day holiday travelers, most major highway construction projects in Wisconsin will be on hold during the three-day weekend. Although construction will be suspended, motorists may still encounter lane restrictions and delays, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

Heavy traffic is expected throughout the holiday period. In addition to motorists heading to lakes, parks and other vacation destinations, thousands of motorcyclists will be traveling to and from southeast Wisconsin during the Harley-Davidson 110th Anniversary events in Milwaukee beginning Thursday, August 29, to Sunday, September 1. Brewers' games at Miller Park from Friday, August 30 to Monday, September 2 will also add to the Milwaukee area traffic. Traffic will increase in the Madison area for the Wisconsin Badgers' football game on Saturday, August 31.

"Especially during this Labor Day weekend, motorists will need to be aware of motorcyclists and share the road with riders coming to Wisconsin from all over the country for the Harley-Davidson anniversary events," says State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety. "Motorists frequently misjudge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle. We urge drivers to look at least twice for motorcycles especially at intersections and while making turns or lane changes."

Increased traffic during the holiday will still make driving through work zones especially challenging, according to Don Greuel, chief project services engineer for WisDOT.

"To prevent crashes, drivers must slow down, pay attention and not tailgate when approaching and traveling through work zones. Rear-end collisions caused primarily by speeding, distracted driving and following other vehicles too closely are the most frequent type of crash in work zones," Greuel says.

Last year, 10 people died in 10 traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the Labor Day holiday period. To prevent traffic deaths and injuries, law enforcement officers from approximately 330 agencies throughout Wisconsin will be out in force to arrest drunken drivers during the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign, according to Major Huxtable. The national drunken driving crackdown, which started on August 16, will continue through the Labor Day weekend.

Peak travel times on highways during the Labor Day weekend are expected to be from noon until 8 p.m. on both Friday, August 30, and Monday, September 2. Motorists should give themselves sufficient time to get to their destination and be patient when encountering traffic congestion.

Significant road construction projects that may affect highway travel include the following:

  • I-94 N-S, Milwaukee County to Illinois state line
  • US 41 in Brown County
  • I-94 in Eau Claire and Trempealeau counties
  • I-94 in Dunn and St. Croix counties
  • I-39/US 51 Marathon County (open to two lanes with speed reductions)
  • WIS 29 in Marathon County
  • WIS 13/73 Wood County
  • WIS 73/80 in Wood County

For up-to-the-minute information on work zones and incidents that may affect highway travel, motorists can use the state's 511 travel information system by dialing 511 on a phone or visiting Wisconsin 511 on the web. Statewide travel information is also now available via Twitter at Wisconsin 511. Easy links to various 511 Twitter sites, as well as to other WisDOT social media sites, are available on WisDOT's Stay Connected web page. To eliminate distractions while behind the wheel, drivers should use mobile communication devices only when their vehicle is completely stopped and off the traveled portion of the roadway.

For more information, contact:
Don Greuel, WisDOT Project Services
(608) 267-7774, donald.greuel@dot.wi.gov

State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety
(608) 266-3048, sandra.huxtable@dot.wi.gov

 

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