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Wisconsin DOT warns of traffic backups this weekend

U.S. Highway 41 shield (courtesy of FOX 11).
U.S. Highway 41 shield (courtesy of FOX 11).

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - It's going to be a busy weekend on the roads across Northeast Wisconsin.

With deer hunters, shoppers and Packers fans all getting behind the wheel, Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesman Kim Rudat is urging folks to plan ahead.

"The most direct way may not be the quickest," says Rudat. "Mostly drivers know where they're going, and the best thing you can do is give yourself enough time."

The Leo Frigo Bridge remains closed with traffic routed onto Highway 172. Construction is also continuing on Highway 41 in Brown County. Two lanes of traffic will be open; however, drivers might still encounter road conditions in the work zones that could cause backups.  

Local traffic in both the Fox Valley and Green Bay metro areas should consider using local roads to avoid congestion. Hunters and holiday travelers should also give themselves more time, especially in the event of inclement weather.

Deer hunters:

Deer hunters can expect to encounter heavy northbound traffic on most highways in the region beginning at noon on Friday, Nov. 22 and heavy southbound traffic on these routes from noon Sunday, Nov. 24 until approximately 8 p.m.

Heavy traffic will continue during the Thanksgiving holiday, with Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday being busy days.

Leo Frigo (I-43) Bridge

  • Bridge remains closed
  • The Leo Frigo Bridge/I-43 detour route is US 41 to WIS 172.
  • Approximately 40,000 vehicles travel across Leo Frigo on any given day. This traffic will be diverted onto other city streets, US 41 and WIS 172. Expect heavy congestion on US 41 and WIS 172.
  • Alternate Routes for I43 traffic to use on city streets include:
  • Fox River bridge crossings at Main Street, Walnut Street and Mason Street
  • Ashland Avenue
  • Oneida Street
  • Mason Street
  • I-43 exit at Mason Street (Eastside)
  • Local residents are strongly encouraged not to use US 41 or WIS 172.
  • WisDOT will have eight message boards alerting Holiday travelers to WIS 172 detour
  • WisDOT has an extra Freeway Service Team dedicated to WIS 172 to quickly remove any disabled vehicles.  They will be operating from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • The Wisconsin State Patrol has additional officers patrolling I-43, US 41 and WIS 172  to assist motorists

US 41

Brown County – Drivers will encounter 11-foot travel lanes and reduced shoulders in multiple locations along a 10-mile segment of highway. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph from just south of Grant Street to I-43. Temporary barrier walls at various locations will cause traffic to slow.

WIS 172

Brown County – Eastbound WIS 172 to northbound US 41 ramp is closed due to a bridge demolition that began before the Leo Frigo Bridge incident. Eastbound  WIS 172 traffic wanting to exit to northbound US 41 will continue east on  WIS 172 and take the Oneida Street/Ashland Avenue exit which ends at Vanderperren Way; take Vanderperren Way west to Holmgren Way, follow Holmgren Way north to Pilgrim Way and take Pilgrim Way east to westbound WIS 172 on-ramp to northbound US 41.

Shoppers:

Fox Valley: There are four exits along US 41 that can be used for access to the Fox River Mall shopping area. Planning alternate routes helps avoid backups on US 41 during the holiday shopping season.

  • Going from south to north, the main exits include:
  • County BB west to Casaloma Drive, then north
  • College Avenue (County CA) west, then enter on Mall Drive (or farther west on Casaloma Drive)
  • Wisconsin Avenue west, then turn left into mall
  • WIS 15 west to Casaloma Drive, then south

For instance, motorists traveling north on US 41 can exit on County BB or WIS 96 (Wisconsin Avenue), avoiding a potentially frustrating and time-consuming back up that occurs at the WIS 125/County CA/College Avenue exit. Motorists traveling south on US 41 should consider exiting at WIS 15 (Northland Avenue) or WIS 125/County CA/College Avenue, again avoiding potential backups at the WIS 96 (Wisconsin Avenue) exit. Using these alternate routes will provide Fox Valley shoppers with a safer, less stressful holiday experience.

Green Bay area:

  • In the Green Bay area, motorists are advised to avoid backups on WIS 172 and US 41.  There are many alternate routes throughout the area. It is often quicker and safer to simply move on to the next exit. Local traffic in the Green Bay metro area should consider using the local street system to access the area.
  • Shoppers traveling west on WIS 172 headed for the Bay Park Square Mall area could encounter heavy traffic on the Oneida St./Ashland Ave. exit ramp. WisDOT encourages drivers to use other routes, especially on evenings and weekends. Traffic westbound on WIS 172 should consider alternate routes through the city on local streets or continue west to US 41, then south to the Oneida Street exit, or north to the Lombardi Street exit.
  • Traffic northbound on US 41 encountering any backups at Oneida Street can consider traveling north to Lombardi Avenue east, then south on Oneida Street.
  • Northbound US 41 motorists from the Fox Valley area can avoid most potential problems by using the Ashland Avenue exit and choosing any of the next four traffic signals to gain access to the Bay Park Mall area.
  • Traffic southbound on US 41 heading into the Green Bay area might consider using the Lombardi Avenue exit and turning south on Oneida Street.

Law enforcement agencies will also be keeping a close eye on traffic. Capt. Nick Scorcio, Wisconsin State Patrol, offered this safety tip to motorists that might get caught in a back up on US 41. “The best thing for motorists to do when they spot a back up at their exit is to simply drive on to the next exit,” said Scorcio. He also had a tip for drivers passing through this area.  “Be alert and move to the center or left lane early and cautiously if you observe traffic backed up into the right lane.”

Here is a list of the major roads in northeast Wisconsin most Packers fans will be traveling as they head for the game and the road conditions they should anticipate:

Leo Frigo (I-43) Bridge

  • Bridge remains closed
  • The Leo Frigo Bridge/I-43 bypass is US 41 to WIS 172.
  • Approximately 30,000 vehicles travel across Leo Frigo on a Packer home game. This traffic will be diverted onto other city streets, US 41, US 29 and WIS 172. Expect heavy congestion due to deer hunters returning from opening weekend of the deer hunt and game day traffic leaving the game.
  • To both commuter and game day traffic on US 41 and WIS 172 on Sunday between 8 a.m. and noon and again between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Alternate routes for Packer traffic to use on city streets include:
  • Fox River bridge crossings at Main Street, Walnut Street and Mason Street
  • Ashland Avenue
  • Oneida Street
  • Mason Street
  • I-43 exit at Mason Street (Eastside)

Local residents are strongly encouraged not to use US 41 or WIS 172 on gameday. WisDOT will use eight message boards to inform motorists of traffic conditions on gameday.

WisDOT has an extra Freeway Service Team dedicated to US 41 and WIS 172 to quickly remove any disabled vehicles.  One truck will be operating from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and a second truck will be operating from 8 a.m. to noon and again from 3 p.m. to 6  p.m.

The Wisconsin State Patrol will have additional officers patrolling I-43, US 41 and WIS 172 to assist motorists. 

US 41

All construction on US 41 will cease on Packer Gameday, although barrier walls and orange barrels will be present in various locations

Brown County –

  • Drivers will encounter 11-foot travel lanes and reduced shoulders in multiple locations along a 10-mile segment of highway. The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph from just south of Grant Street to I-43. Temporary barrier walls at various locations will cause traffic to slow.
  • Expect southbound US 41 to have heavy congestion after the game due to deer hunters returning from the opening weekend of the deer hunt and gameday traffic leaving the game.

WIS 172

Brown County –

  • Eastbound WIS 172 to northbound US 41 ramp is closed due to a bridge demolition that began before the Leo Frigo Bridge incident. Eastbound  WIS 172 traffic wanting to exit to northbound US 41 will continue east on  WIS 172 and take the Oneida Street/Ashland Avenue exit which ends at Vanderperren Way; take Vanderperren Way west to Holmgren Way, follow Holmgren Way north to Pilgrim Way and take Pilgrim Way east to westbound WIS 172 on-ramp to northbound US 41.

I-43

Brown County –

  • The speed limit is reduced to 55 mph on I-43 between Atkinson Drive and US 41.

WIS 29

Brown County –

  • WIS 29 has narrower shoulders due to temporary barrier wall at various locations that will cause traffic to slow. 
  • Expect heavier traffic from west to east due to deer hunters and gameday fans

WIS 32/57

Brown County (De Pere)

  • Lane restrictions in the roundabout east of the Claude Allouez Bridge will slow traffic through this intersection.  Additionally, traffic northbound on WIS 32/57 cannot proceed through the roundabout and continue north on WIS 57.  Motorists will have to exit east on South Wisconsin Street or west on WIS 32/County G across the Claude Allouez Bridge.  

 

 

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