Put safety first this Memorial Day weekend

​For essential travel, buckle up, slow down for work zones, inspect your vehicle and plan ahead

Release date: May 21, 2020

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) and its Division of State Patrol are asking those who need to travel this Memorial Day weekend to buckle up, plan their trips and drive carefully though work zones.

“Safety is the top priority for this Memorial Day weekend,” WisDOT Secretary-designee Craig Thompson said. “The State Patrol and other police agencies will be enforcing traffic laws and assisting motorists who need help. But, ultimately, being safe this weekend depends on everyone making good choices.”

Vehicles that have not been driven recently should be inspected for safe travel, which includes checking tire pressure and fluid levels. WisDOT and the State Patrol offer these other safety reminders:

  • Slow down. Posted speed limits apply to ideal travel conditions. Drivers are required to travel at a “reasonable and prudent” speed based on weather and traffic conditions.
  • Eliminate distractions and focus on what’s ahead. Texting while driving is prohibited and very dangerous. It is also illegal in Wisconsin for drivers to use a handheld mobile device in work zones (except in an emergency).
  • Be prepared to Move Over or slow down when approaching emergency responders including police and fire vehicles, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles that are stopped along a highway with their warning lights flashing. If your vehicle breaks down, try to get safely off the highway, remain buckled up and wait for help to arrive.

All Wisconsin rest areas are open, but seasonal waysides – the rustic pull-offs on less traveled roads – will not have restrooms available.

Significant road construction projects that may impact Memorial Day weekend travel include:

  • Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties: Starting Friday, May 22, all four lanes of the I-41/94 work zone will be open to traffic.
  • Dane and Rock counties: Motorists on I-39/90, and I-43 near Beloit, should be alert for lane shifts and crossovers. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph.
  • Barron County: West Avenue is closed south of WIS 48. There is a 12-foot width restriction through the construction zone in Rice Lake.
  • Douglas County: Traffic is reduced to one lane in each direction on US 2/53 (East 2nd Street) in Superior between 2nd Avenue East and 31st Avenue East, and the speed limit has been lowered from 35 mph to 25 mph.
  • Dunn County: WIS 72, about two miles east of Elmwood, is closed. Traffic is detoured via WIS 128, WIS 29 and WIS 25.
  • Jackson County: US 12 is reduced to one lane in each direction near the County A work zone in Black River Falls.
  • Jefferson County: I-94 between Lake Mills and Johnson Creek has a 4.5-mile-long work zone. The highway is open to two lanes in each direction. Motorists can expect to encounter narrow lanes and lane shifts. The speed limit is reduced to 60 mph.
  • Lincoln County: Northbound and southbound US 51 are reduced to a single lane in each direction between US 8 and County S. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph.
  • Manitowoc County: US 10/Waldo Boulevard is closed in the city of Manitowoc along sections between County R and 14th Street. Eastbound US 10 is detoured via I-43 and US 151. Westbound US 10 is detoured via US 151 and I-43.
  • Oneida County: US 8 is reduced to a single lane with temporary signals between Kemp Street and WIS 17 south in Rhinelander.
  • Price County: US 8 is reduced to a single lane with temporary signals between Beaumont Road and Cemetery Road in Prentice.
  • Sauk County: US 12 between Sauk City and Baraboo is reduced to a single lane each direction.
  • Vernon County: WIS 35 (Great River Road) is closed to through traffic in Stoddard and detoured via WIS 162 and US 14. Access to local businesses is maintained via side roads.
  • Waupaca County: US 10 is reduced to a single lane in each direction at County E.

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:

  • Downloading the free 511 Wisconsin mobile app
  • Dialing 511

Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicle customer service centers will be closed on Memorial Day, but citizens can conduct DMV business online 24/7 at wisconsindmv.gov.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov