Important resources to help you navigate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Wisconsin
Hub for reliable, timely news about COVID-19 pandemic

Drivers, PAY ATTENTION: Police report at least 60 crashes on stretch of Hwy. 41/45 since August

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Data pix.

GERMANTOWN (WITI) -- Germantown police say there's one spot on Highway 41/45 where any distraction on a driver's part can be especially dangerous. There was a crash on Monday night, February 16th involving a car and a semi that sent five people to the hospital, including three young children, and police say that's one of 60 crashes on the stretch of 41/45 since construction began in August.

911 calls show the panic after Germantown police say a car left the right lane and struck a semi driving in the center lane. The car then struck the median wall on the left before crossing all three lanes of traffic -- striking the right side wall on the highway before stopping.

All five people in the car were taken to the hospital with superficial injuries. That includes the female driver, a mother and her three children -- all under the age of four. We're told none of the children were in car seats at the time of the crash.

The semi suffered minor damage. The semi's driver is from Racine, and that driver wasn't injured.

Germantown Police Captain Mike Snow says Monday night's crash could have been much worse.

"We had one back in December with the southbound lane backed up and a motorist not aware that that delay was ahead of him. Had to make an evasive move at the last second, crossed the median which caused a fatality in the northbound lane of traffic," Captain Snow said.

That crash happened in this same construction zone on Highway 41/45 -- where lanes narrow and even shift in pattern. Since the road work started in August, Germantown police say they've seen about 60 accidents on the stretch.

"If we`re just focused on what we`re doing and understanding that just losing that focus for a split second can have dire consequences," Captain Snow said.

Snow says often it is inattentive drivers, but sometimes it's speed. The speed limit drops to 55 in the construction zone.

"I was there earlier in an unmarked squad and people still are going too fast for that area," Captain Snow said.

Snow says his officers do what they can to help -- often stationing themselves in the area, especially when there are additional lane closures. But he says the bottom line is, this construction will continue for awhile, and drivers need to pay attention.

Police say the stretch gets even worse when we're experiencing winter weather because drivers can't always see the dividing lines between traffic lanes -- but even without the construction, accidents are common along this stretch of roadway when roads get slick.

Captain Snow says construction is expected to continue until at least June.

Related stories:

11 comments

  • Bugs

    Not sure who or where this Kramer construction is from, which is the company performing the bridge replacement at the site of all these crashes, but it must be a 2 man operation. This may be the first 150′ bridge in Wisconsin history to take 2 years to replace. What’s worse, you drive 15 miles south and watch the progress made in the Zoo Interchange during the same time this project has been going, and one would have to assume this company is completely confounded by the art of bridge building. This joke of a project is proof that the lowest bidder, is not always the best one for the job. Someone from Washington County Highway department should be losing a job over this debacle. At a minimum.

  • jones

    Agreed bugs. This small project is taking way too long to complete. Not to mention the huge dips in the left lane heading southbound. Finish it already.

    • Bugs

      I am certain that when they laid the asphalt for the temporary lanes, laughter could be heard. On a typical surface street with uneven pavement and large dips, the speed limit would be 35. Here its 55. Problem is, this is a brand new pavement job. I didn’t know modern paving equipment was even capable of making a road based roller coaster.

  • Gail Stephenson-Russo

    The constant construction and changing traffic patterns create a dangerous area. This part of the construction seems to be taking a very long time to complete if compared to the rest of the construction. If there have been 60 crashes, maybe the fault is the way the lanes are being managed not the people being “inattentive.” Someone should investigate the real issue.

  • PH

    The fatality occurred about 3 miles north of the construction area, where 41/45 split. That is another poorly designed interchange, where people suddenly shift from the left lane to go right and north on 45. Plus there is a onramp too.

    • Bugs

      Yes, the fatality occurred 3 miles north. The cause was southbound traffic backed up from a lane closure in this construction site. Vehicles stopping suddenly caused a truck driver to swerve, loosing control and crossing the center divide. I do agreed the 41/45 split and the curve south of 167 all need serious improvements.

  • Brad jere

    I can’t remember the last time I have seen anyone doing any work on this construction site. I drive past it twice a day and there never seems to be anyone there. I agree with the other poster about how long it’s taking and this being the lowest bidder job not being the best. And the dip in the left lane is crazy dangerous too! This company should be fired from the job and fined for creating the dangerous conditions above and beyond normal construction.

  • JB

    Agreed….worst construction I have ever seen. Taking way to long, a lot more should have been completed during the warmer months. But what do you expect when you see three cranes and maybe two to four guys on the project two or three days a week. Someone should be held responsible. And there is talk of 41 becoming an interstate? Speed is also a problem thru the zone…I think people actually speed up thru the zone…….Gtown should not be responsible for policing the are, where is the state patrol?

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.