DOT, State Patrol says Packers fans heeded traffic warnings Sunday
GREEN BAY (WITI) — The Department of Transportation spent much of last week warning drivers to leave early for Sunday’s Packers game vs. the Lions at Lambeau Field. And now that it’s in the books, officials say drivers did their part.
The traffic heading to Lambeau Field for tailgating and a matchup with the Lions was heavy as expected. But law enforcement say given the closure of the Leo Frigo Bridge, things went pretty well.
“Getting Packers traffic coming in a little sooner — hopefully we didn’t have so much of an overlap of those conflicting traffic patterns all hitting each other at the same time,” Wisconsin State Patrol Sgt. John Jones said.
Signs warning of the Leo Frigo Bridge closure were visible on I-43 and Highway 41. And many drivers heeded the warnings to leave early.
“We usually leave early to get up here and spend a little extra time in Green Bay, but we were nervous about what type of traffic we would run into,” Pete Samson of Slinger said.
And those with the DOT say what they found wasn’t as bad as many thought it would be.
“We saw backups on 41 and on 43 but that is expected. They weren’t catastrophic and that is partially due to the fact that I think people did come early,” DOT Traffic Engineer Randy Asman said.
A four-car accident on Highway 172 backed up traffic there well before kickoff. But with extra officers around the metro area and extra freeway service vehicles, the accident was quickly cleared.
The State Patrol brought in extra officers to help handle the increased traffic, but they say the awareness of drivers helped keep things moving smoothly.
“When all those spokes of the wheel come together this is the hub and what we have to do is get them around this hub and into the game and from the game get them home,” Sgt. Jones said.
And while officials say they hope this will be a good sign for other games to come, those who came early have a warning for those who might think they can wait longer next time around.
“Good luck. That’s all I’ve got to say is good luck,” Samson said.
DOT officials say they will meet next week to review traffic patterns from Sunday’s game. But they say they don’t expect major changes to the plan.
They say they will continue to recommend drivers leave extra early if they’re headed to Lambeau Field.