Road construction suspended to accommodate heavy traffic during Memorial Day weekend

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — To help an anticipated surge of holiday travelers reach their destination safely and efficiently, construction work on most major highway projects around the state 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 22, and will not resume until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26. Peak travel times for the Memorial Day weekend are expected to be from noon until 8 p.m. on both Friday, May 22, and Monday, May 25.

“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. 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,” said Beth Cannestra, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Project Development.

During the Memorial Day weekend last year, there were 11 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 traffic deaths and injuries, law enforcement agencies throughout Wisconsin will be out in force during the holiday weekend to crack down on unbuckled drivers and passengers as part of the “Click It or Ticket” mobilization, which runs until May 31.

Significant road construction projects that may affect highway travel during the Memorial Day weekend include the following:

  • Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee. Two system ramps are closed: from northbound I-894/45 to westbound I-94, and I-94 westbound to I-894/45 southbound.
  • Reconstruction of I-794 east of the Marquette Interchange (Access to downtown and the lakefront is from Plankinton Avenue.)
  • I-94 north-south corridor is reduced to two lanes at the WIS 20 interchange in Racine County.
  • US 12/WIS 50 interchange in Lake Geneva is reduced to one lane in both directions on US 12. The US 12 westbound off-ramp to WIS 50 eastbound is closed.
  • Marathon County U and K/Business 51 interchange reconstruction in Wausau. Reduced speed limit on US 51 between Bridge Street and County K. Eastbound and westbound lanes of County K (Business 51) under US 51 are closed until mid-June. Northbound US 51 off-ramp to County K is also closed until mid-June.
  • WIS 54 at the Maple Drive intersection in Plover is scheduled to be closed until early September. WIS 54 traffic is being detoured via I-39 and Portage County B.
  • Bong Bridge between Duluth and Superior.
  • I-41 in Outagamie and Brown counties and WIS 441 over Little Lake Butte des Morts in Winnebago County. Lane restrictions and speed reductions will slow traffic.
  • In Brown County, lane closure on I-43 northbound between the Leo Frigo Bridge and the I-41/43 interchange.
  • I-90 in La Crosse reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction.
  • Verona Road and the Madison Beltline in Dane County.

Travelers can check online for real-time traffic information, including travel times, lane closures and incidents, at www.511wi.gov or by calling 511 on a phone.