On The Road Again
By John Dorcey
For many pilots and others attending AirVenture 2005, flight
planning for the trip to Oshkosh includes a Rand McNally map and is
better termed road planning. Drivers from the upper Midwest know
that there are only two seasons - winter and road construction. The
road construction season is at its peak in Wisconsin and will
become obvious as you make your way to Oshkosh.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) has a
work-zone information website that will assist in your planning.
Note: You will need to be familiar with the counties that you'll be
traveling through. After leaving home, you can receive prerecorded
updates by calling the WisDOT at 1-800-762-3947.
Approaching from the south (Milwaukee)
The busiest interchange on the Interstate System in Wisconsin,
the Marquette interchange, is being completely reworked. This
multi-year, multi-million dollar project will create congestion for
local travelers and both confusion and congestion for the transient
driver over the next several years. Your best bet to miss the
entire work zone is by traveling I-94 West to I-894 West to Highway
45 North and finally Highway 41 North to Oshkosh.
Approaching from the southeast (Madison)
Highway 151 East is clear of delays until east of Waupun. Watch
for lane shifts as the last few miles of four-lane construction to
Fond du Lac is completed. Ramp closures at the 151/41 interchange
may make Highway 26 North (east of Waupun) a better bet. Be sure to
obey the speed limit as you motor through Rosendale.
Approaching from the northwest (La Crosse/Eau
The Interstate system will have some ramp work and lane
restrictions on I-90 East, I-94 East and I-39 South.
Approaching from the north (Green Bay)
Highway 41 South is clear until south of Appleton. Watch for
minor work and some lane restrictions between Appleton and
There are many federal, state, and county highways undergoing
work projects. Some result in minor inconveniences while others
will cause you to detour. Getting 'NOTAMs' from the WisDOT website
should be considered a mandatory pre-trip task.
Those last few miles can get exciting as the thrill of another
"Oshkosh" quickens your pulse. Here are a few tips from an
experienced Wisconsin road warrior to help ensure your safe
Plan your route and verify construction delays and detours by
visiting the WisDOT website and calling en route.
Make a refuel and rest stop (you know what we mean) before you
get close to Oshkosh.
Approaching the AirVenture site, watch for lane and ramp
closures as law enforcement adjust traffic to increase route
Ensure that you use a 'designated driver' - everybody in the
vehicle except the driver can gawk, ooh and ahh over the sights but
the driver needs to keep their eyes and attention on the
Speeding, and of course, driving impaired are two great ways to
meet some friends of mine in Wisconsin law enforcement.
Wearing your seatbelt not only makes sense, it is the law.
A little pre-trip planning can ease the stress and increase the
enjoyment as you make another trek to Oshkosh and AirVenture