DE PERE - Many travelers are hitting the road this holiday weekend. And along the U.S. 41 construction project in Brown County, drivers are being asked to slow down and take it easy.
The seven-year project stretches 14 miles from Lineville Road in northern Brown County to just south of Scheuring Road in De Pere.
Terri Iovinella says she had a very close call on Wednesday.
"The semi goes flying by me, at least 65 miles an hour, and three other cars behind him. The wind from the truck blew my minivan around, which I almost ended up in the barrier," said Iovinella of Bellevue.
Melody Heinke says she tries to avoid the highway all together.
"I can't stand the narrowness. People right next to me, it actually prevents me from going a couple of places," said Heinke, owner of Mel's Coffee House.
Construction on the U.S. 41 project near Scheuring Road in De Pere has put the squeeze on many of the 52,000 daily motorists. Lanes are still 12 feet wide, but the shoulders have been replaced with concrete barriers.
"There's no room on the other side of the lane. It seems like there's inches, and in a situation like that, it seemed even less," said Iovinella.
The speed limit in this entire construction zone is 55.
"Yeah 55, they're not going 55," said Heinke.
Sixty, 68, and higher. The Wisconsin State Patrol set up a portable radar unit to show how fast drivers are actually going.
"People have a difficult time where it's 65, people are doing 70. When you come into a construction zone like this, it really becomes a safety factor," said Captain Dale Haagen, De Pere Police Department.
De Pere police say they are watching.
"They'll go on the ramps. They'll watch for vehicles, for speeders, for reckless drivers and things. We'll have a chase car at the next ramp to try to get that person," said Captain Haagen.
Police say accidents can turn into hours of delays.
"Typically there is no safe route for us to get in there; it backs up traffic where we have to shut down the highway," said Haagen.
Drivers we talked to say they know construction is necessary, but so is a little roadside manner.
"It would be nice if people had patience I suppose," said Heinke.
De Pere police say speeding in a work zone will cost you double. Depending on how much over the limit you are, the fine could be as much as $227.
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