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Holiday shoppers/deer hunters should consider alternate routes

November 20, 2013

Motorists should be patient and avoid backups on US 41 and WIS 172

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Northeast Region in Green Bay is reminding motorists to avoid backups on area highways near popular shopping destinations. The Leo Frigo Bridge (I-43) in Green Bay remains closed with traffic routed onto WIS 172. Construction is also continuing on US 41 in Brown County. Two lanes of traffic will be open; however, drivers might still encounter road conditions in the work zones that could cause backups.

Local traffic in both the Fox Valley and Green Bay metro areas should consider using local roads to avoid congestion. Hunters and holiday travelers should also give themselves more time, especially in the event of inclement weather.

Deer hunters:

Deer hunters can expect to encounter heavy northbound traffic on most highways in the region beginning at noon on Friday, November 22 and heavy southbound traffic on these routes from noon Sunday, November 24 until approximately 8 p.m.

Heavy traffic will continue during the Thanksgiving holiday, with Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday being busy days.

Leo Frigo (I-43) Bridge

  • Bridge remains closed
  • The Leo Frigo Bridge/I-43 detour route is US 41 to WIS 172.
  • Approximately 40,000 vehicles travel across Leo Frigo on any given day. This traffic will be diverted onto other city streets, US 41 and WIS 172. Expect heavy congestion on US 41 and WIS 172.
  • Alternate routes for I-43 traffic to use on city streets include:
    • Fox River bridge crossings at Main Street, Walnut Street and Mason Street
    • Ashland Avenue
    • Oneida Street
    • Mason Street
    • I-43 exit at Mason Street (Eastside)
  • Local residents are strongly encouraged not to use US 41 or WIS 172.
  • WisDOT will have eight message boards alerting Holiday travelers to WIS 172 detour.
  • WisDOT has an extra Freeway Service Team dedicated to WIS 172 to quickly remove any disabled vehicles. They will be operating from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The Wisconsin State Patrol has additional officers patrolling I-43, US 41 and WIS 172  to assist motorists.

US 41

  • Brown County
    • Drivers will encounter 11-foot travel lanes and reduced shoulders in multiple locations along a 10-mile segment of highway. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph from just south of Grant Street to I-43. Temporary barrier walls at various locations will cause traffic to slow.

WIS 172

  • Brown County
    • Eastbound WIS 172 to northbound US 41 ramp is closed due to a bridge demolition that began before the Leo Frigo Bridge incident. Eastbound WIS 172 traffic wanting to exit to northbound US 41 will continue east on WIS 172 and take the Oneida Street/Ashland Avenue exit which ends at Vanderperren Way; take Vanderperren Way west to Holmgren Way, follow Holmgren Way north to Pilgrim Way and take Pilgrim Way east to westbound WIS 172 on-ramp to northbound US 41.

Shoppers:

  • Fox Valley:
    • There are four exits along US 41 that can be used for access to the Fox River Mall shopping area. Planning alternate routes helps avoid backups on US 41 during the holiday shopping season.
    • Going from south to north, the main exits include:
      • County BB west to Casaloma Drive, then north
      • College Avenue (County CA) west, then enter on Mall Drive (or farther west on Casaloma Drive)
      • Wisconsin Avenue west, then turn left into mall
      • WIS 15 west to Casaloma Drive, then south

For instance, motorists traveling north on US 41 can exit on County BB or WIS 96 (Wisconsin Avenue), avoiding a potentially frustrating and time-consuming back up that occurs at the WIS 125/County CA/College Avenue exit. Motorists traveling south on US 41 should consider exiting at WIS 15 (Northland Avenue) or WIS 125/County CA/College Avenue, again avoiding potential backups at the WIS 96 (Wisconsin Avenue) exit. Using these alternate routes will provide Fox Valley shoppers with a safer, less stressful holiday experience.

  • Green Bay area:
    • In the Green Bay area, motorists are advised to avoid backups on WIS 172 and US 41. There are many alternate routes throughout the area. It is often quicker and safer to simply move on to the next exit. Local traffic in the Green Bay metro area should consider using the local street system to access the area.
    • Shoppers traveling west on WIS 172 headed for the Bay Park Square Mall area could encounter heavy traffic on the Oneida Street/Ashland Avenue exit ramp. WisDOT encourages drivers to use other routes, especially on evenings and weekends. Traffic westbound on WIS 172 should consider alternate routes through the city on local streets or continue west to US 41, then south to the Oneida Street exit, or north to the Lombardi Street exit.
    • Traffic northbound on US 41 encountering any backups at Oneida Street can consider traveling north to Lombardi Avenue east, then south on Oneida Street.
    • Northbound US 41 motorists from the Fox Valley area can avoid most potential problems by using the Ashland Avenue exit and choosing any of the next four traffic signals to gain access to the Bay Park Mall area.
    • Traffic southbound on US 41 heading into the Green Bay area might consider using the Lombardi Avenue exit and turning south on Oneida Street.

According to Will Dorsey, WisDOT northeast regional director, "We want motorists to have a safe holiday. They may want to consider an alternate route when moving from US 41 or WIS 172 into a shopping area. Typically, a route that might seem a bit longer could actually take less time and be a lot less stressful."

Law enforcement agencies will also be keeping a close eye on traffic. Captain Nick Scorcio, Wisconsin State Patrol, offered this safety tip to motorists that might get caught in a back up on US 41. "The best thing for motorists to do when they spot a back up at their exit is to simply drive on to the next exit," said Scorcio. He also had a tip for drivers passing through this area. "Be alert and move to the center or left lane early and cautiously if you observe traffic backed up into the right lane."

"Most importantly, motorists should give themselves extra time to get to their destinations," said Dorsey. "Remain calm and remember to be alert, patient, and courteous. Slow down, buckle up, and drive sober. We want everyone to enjoy a happy and safe holiday season."

For more information regarding traffic impacts in the Northeast Region:

  • Follow us on Twitter for regional alerts from the Traffic Incident Alert System and for construction related traffic advisories.
  • Call 5-1-1 or visit Wisconsin 511 online.
  • Also, visit the US 41 Project Facebook and Twitter pages for details on US 41 traffic impacts and lane closures in Brown and Winnebago counties.

For more information, contact:
Kim A. Rudat, regional communications manager
(920) 492-5743, kim.rudat@dot.wi.gov

Mark Kantola, US 41 Project communications manager
(920) 492-4153, mark.kantola@dot.wi.gov

 

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