To minimize disruptions for Labor Day holiday travelers, most major highway construction projects in Wisconsin will be on hold during the three day weekend. While construction may be suspended, motorists may still run into lane restrictions and delays, according to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
"Heavy traffic during the holiday will still make driving through work zones especially challenging," says Don Greuel, chief project services engineer for WisDOT. "To prevent crashes, drivers must slow down, pay attention and allow a safety cushion 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."
Last year, there were more than 700 crashes on Labor Day weekend with a total of six fatalities and 370 injuries. To prevent traffic deaths and injuries, law enforcement officers all over Wisconsin and the rest of the nation will be patrolling roadways in greater numbers and for longer hours to arrest drunken drivers during the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign. The crackdown, which started on August 17, will continue through Labor Day weekend.
"Throughout the state, law enforcement officers are arresting drunken drivers. Last year in Wisconsin, there were more than 35,000 convictions for drunken driving. But despite the risk of arrest, not to mention a violent crash, too many people still drive while impaired," says State Patrol Major Sandra Huxtable, director of the WisDOT Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Peak travel times on highways during the Labor Day weekend are expected to be from noon until 8 p.m. on both Friday, August 31, and Monday, Sept. 3. Motorists should give themselves sufficient time to get to their destination, be patient when encountering traffic congestion and avoid driving during the peak travel hours, if possible.
Significant road construction projects that may affect highway travel include the following:
- Mitchell Interchange in Milwaukee County
- I-94 in Milwaukee County
- I-94 in Kenosha County
- I-43 in Ozaukee and Sheboygan counties
- US 41 in Winnebago and Brown counties
- I-94 in Eau Claire and St. Croix counties
For up-to-the-minute information on work zones and incidents, motorists can use the state’s 511 travel information system by dialing 511 on a phone or visiting www.511wi.gov on the web.