Thanksgiving holiday travelers should expect company on Wisconsin roads

Release date: November 20, 2023

As another construction season winds down, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) urges Thanksgiving holiday travelers to watch their speed, focus on the road and expect company on major interstates and highways across Wisconsin. According to AAA, more than 960,000 Wisconsinites will drive to their destinations this holiday weekend. Peak travel times are anticipated between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Wednesday (Nov. 22), 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 23), noon to 4 p.m. Friday (Nov. 24) and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 25-26).

“We're thankful to the thousands of people who work day and night to keep our roads safe – emergency responders, highway workers, and many more professions," WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson said. “We all want to make it our destinations safely this holiday season; please buckle up, eliminate distractions, drive sober and watch out for deer."

Highway projects that may impact travelers include:

  • Dane County: US 18/151 is reduced to one lane in each direction between County G and Fitchrona Road in Verona. Motorists should expect delays.
  • Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties: Expect intermittent ramp and local street closures in certain segments along I-43 between Glendale and Grafton.
  • Milwaukee County: Motorists should expect various ramp closures and single lane closures along I-43 between Capitol Drive and the Marquette Interchange.

Access real-time information on travel conditions, live traffic cameras, work zones and incidents across Wisconsin:

Alerts and updates provided via these sites are not intended for use while driving. When driving, your focus should always be on the road ahead.

All Wisconsin rest areas are open. These facilities offer restrooms, amenities and a break from travel.

WisDOT offers these safety reminders:

  • Buckle Up, Phone Down – every trip, every time.
  • 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.
  • Move over or slow down for emergency responders stopped along a highway with their warning lights flashing. That includes police and fire vehicles, ambulances, tow trucks and highway maintenance vehicles. In addition, state law restricts use of a cell phone in areas surrounding those vehicles.
  • Steer It, Clear It! State law requires drivers to move vehicles involved in a crash out of traffic if no one is hurt and the vehicles can be moved safely. If someone is hurt or the vehicle is disabled, drivers should not risk injury by trying to push the vehicle out of traffic.

During the holiday weekend, motorists may encounter the WisDOT Safety Patrol, sponsored by GEICO, along I-41 in Brown and Outagamie counties and I-43 in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties. The fleet of specially equipped vehicles help manage highway incidents within construction work zones to keep everyone safe. Learn more about the WisDOT Safety Patrol.

Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicle (DMV) customer service centers will be closed from Thursday, November 23 to Saturday, November 25. Citizens can conduct DMV business online 24/7 at

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581,