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DOT: Construction on most major highways will be halted for Labor Day weekend

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MILWAUKEE — Even though summer is drawing to a close, many highway construction projects are still in progress throughout the state. However, to minimize disruptions for Labor Day holiday travelers most major highway construction projects will be suspended during the three-day weekend.

“Although major construction work will be on hold, motorists may still encounter lane restrictions and traffic delays,” says Don Greuel, Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) chief project services engineer.

Traffic is expected to be heavy throughout the holiday period with peak travel times likely to occur from noon until 8 p.m. on both Friday, September 4, and Monday, September 7. Drivers should give themselves sufficient time to reach their destination and be patient when encountering traffic congestion. Increased traffic during the holiday weekend will make driving through work zones especially challenging, according to Greuel.

“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, six people died in traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the Labor Day holiday period.

“To prevent deaths and injuries, law enforcement officers throughout the state will be out in force to arrest drunken drivers during the national ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign, which started on August 19 and will continue through Labor Day,” says  David Pabst, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety.

The Wisconsin State Patrol also will be using its aircraft for traffic safety enforcement. The dates, times and locations of many of the aerial enforcement missions may be announced in advance on Twitter (https://twitter.com/511WI, @WisconsinDOT, #WisDOT).

Significant highway construction projects that may affect holiday travel include:

  • 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. Utilize the James Lovell Street/St. Paul Avenue exit from the west. Use the Plankinton Avenue exit when approaching from the south.
  • I-94 north-south corridor is reduced to two lanes at the WIS 20 interchange in Racine County.
  • I-41 in Winnebago, 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-39 at Reserve Street, north of Stevens Point, speed reduction to 55 mph.
  • I-39/Business 51 interchange at Rothschild, reduced lane widths and speed reduction to 55 mph.
  • WIS 29 near Rothschild, westbound WIS 29 at the Business 51 interchange is reduced to a single lane with a speed reduction to 55 mph.
  • Bong Bridge between Duluth and Superior. US 2 westbound down to a single lane. US 2 eastbound closed with marked detour in place.
  • I-90 in La Crosse reduced to one lane of traffic in each direction.
  • Verona Road and the Madison Beltline in Dane County.
  • WIS 73, between I-39/90 and US 12/18, in Dane County is closed to through traffic.

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 dialing 511 on a phone or visiting 511wi.gov.