Most highway projects on hold for Fourth of July holiday travel


June 26, 2013

Although construction on most major highway projects in Wisconsin will be suspended during the Fourth of July holiday, motorists might still encounter narrow lanes and lane shifts, which require reduced speeds in work zones, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).

“To keep holiday traffic flowing as smoothly as possible, most construction and planned repairs in work zones will cease by around noon on Wednesday, July 3, and will resume on Friday, July 5. On some highways, construction might not resume until Monday, July 8,” says Don Greuel of the WisDOT Project Services Section. “However, heavy traffic during the holiday will still make driving through work zones especially challenging. To prevent crashes, drivers must slow down, pay attention and not tail-gate 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.”

With a Thursday holiday and many people on vacation through the weekend, traffic may be more spread out, according to Greuel. However, peak travel times are expected to be between approximately noon and 8 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3, Thursday, July 4, and Sunday, July 7.

Last year, three people were killed in traffic crashes in Wisconsin during the Fourth of July holiday period, from 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, to midnight on Wednesday, July 4.

With increased traffic during the holiday period, the State Patrol and other Wisconsin law enforcement agencies will be out in force to help save lives and prevent injuries from traffic crashes.

“Officers will have zero tolerance for speeding and other dangerous violations that frequently cause crashes,” says Wisconsin State Patrol Maj. Sandra Huxtable of the Bureau of Transportation Safety. “As part of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Summer of Safety initiatives, the State Patrol will continue to use its aircraft for traffic enforcement during the Fourth of July holiday period and throughout the summer. So far this year, the State Patrol Air Support Unit has flown 15 traffic safety enforcement missions in different areas of the state. During these missions, officers on the ground made a total of 422 traffic stops and issued nearly 300 traffic citations with 244 of them for speeding. The average speeding citation was for 81 mph in a 65 mph zone. The fastest speed cited was for 97 mph in a 65 mph zone.”

Significant road construction projects that may affect highway travel include the following:

· I-894/US 45 Greenfield Avenue/Zoo Interchange in Milwaukee County

· I-94 N-S, Milwaukee County to Illinois state line

· I-43 in Milwaukee County

· Bayview Bridge in Door County

· I-43 Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay

· US 41 in Brown County

· I-94 in Eau Claire and Trempealeau counties

· I-94 in St. Croix County

· US 12/18 Madison Beltline

· I-39/US 51 Marathon County (open to two lanes with speed reductions)

· WIS 29 in Marathon County

· WIS 13/73 Wood County

· WIS 73/80 in Wood County