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Driver Alert! Recent Updates to Wisconsin’s Traffic Laws

by John Bruggeman 13. June 2016 02:37

Joanna Bush, state traffic signal systems engineer at the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT), provided an informative presentation at the 2016 Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) Traffic Engineering Workshop regarding recent updates to Wisconsin traffic laws. Some have received a lot of publicity over the last year, but there are others you may not be aware of. Updates include:

  • Maximum speed limit on freeways and expressways
  • Rules of the road when a traffic signal goes dark
  • Clear definition of the terms “flashing yellow arrow,” “pavement marking,” and pedestrian traffic signal indications
  • Right-turns on red from the left-most lane when two right-turn lanes are provided
  • Right-of-way in roundabouts for large trucks
  • Use of cell phones in construction zones

Check out Joanna’s presentation here.

Image courtesy of ITE Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Traffic Operations.

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I-94 North-South Project Update

by John Bruggeman 10. March 2014 03:29

The snowy, cold winter gives us some time to look back at the 2013 construction season and the new traffic signal improvements along the I-94 North-South corridor. Three new interchanges were opened in late 2013. These interchanges included some of the latest in traffic signal technology and operational features. 

The Rawson Avenue interchange provided TTI traffic signal phasing to minimize traffic backups internal to the interchange and to allow traffic to travel through both ramp intersections in one sequence. The WIS 158 interchange added new traffic signals (previously unsignalized) and provides a much needed east-west alternate route for those traveling between I-94 and the City of Kenosha. 

The new interchange at 71st Street makes up the north half of a new split diamond interchange configuration being constructed in the WIS 50 area. These signals implemented the use of the flashing yellow arrow and both GPS and Infrared Emergency Vehicle Preemption equipment. 2014 marks the final year of construction in the WIS 50 area, when the south half of the interchange will be fully complete. Upon completion, a total of six new traffic signals will service the interchange area. 

Construction will ramp back up as soon as the weather starts to warm up, so stay tuned and think spring!

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Summer Construction Season in Full Swing: I-94 Freeway Closures Impact Local Street System

by John Bruggeman 6. June 2013 06:43

Recent construction work at the I-94 interchange and Rawson Avenue in southern Milwaukee County required full daytime and nighttime closures of the freeway system as part of the ongoing I-94 North-South project. Many motorists were detoured onto the local street system, utilizing arterials such as STH 241 (27th Street), STH 38 (Howell Avenue), STH 100 (Ryan Road), Drexel Avenue and College Avenue. These traffic impacts required signal timing modifications at several traffic signals along the detour routes to improve detour traffic flow. R.A. Smith National worked with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to anticipate traffic problems at key intersections and made the necessary timing adjustments in advance of the closures. On a recent weekend freeway closure, staff monitored field conditions and made adjustments as traffic demands shifted throughout the duration of the closure. Additional overnight and weekend closures are anticipated throughout the summer. Drivers should stay tuned to local news and online resources such as for the latest roadway closure information.

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