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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Midwest Flood Road Closings

    Just a heads up for anyone traveling through the midwest this weekend (Jun 13-15, 08), a number of major highways have been closed because of the heavy rain and flooding throughout the region.

    I-94 between Milwaukee and Madison is closed to Westbound traffic because the Crawfish River is within inches of the Interstate Bridge. The marked detour will add a good hour to the trip. The Eastbound bridge is several inches higher, so traffic heading to Milwaukee has not been stopped yet.

    I-90/94 between I-39/Portage and Mauston, WI (through Wisconsin Dells) is also closed as of this morning. Traffic is being detoured via I-39, but earlier this week WiDOT said it could have to close parts of I-39, as well as another section of I-90/94/39 closer to Madison.

    Several sections of these interstates also have off ramps closed and/or lanes closed because of high water.

    US-12 from Madison to Wisconsin Dells, a popular alternative to I-90, has also been seeing closures, especially around Baraboo which is one of the worst hit areas from the recent storms.

    This is the full list of State Highway closings in Wisconsin.

    Portions of I-90 in Minnesota, through Austin/Albert Lea/Rochester areas have been closed at times in recent days. The interstate appears to be open right now, but flooding has closed some other roads in the area.

    Iowa also has a number of road closings, including parts of I-380 around Waterloo, but it appears that I-80 is clear at this time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Good info

    Michael,

    Thanks for the updates -- since a bunch of our current forum participants are driving through this region -- I hope they remember to check in here.

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default updates

    I too was planning on heading up to Northern Wisconsin this afternoon, and I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to get there. Every time I find an alternate route, a new closing warning goes up blocking the path.

    The interstate closings have expanded this morning. I-90/94 is now closed all the way from Madison to Mauston (70 miles). I -39 is also closed Southbound
    for about 30 miles from Montello all the way to where it joins I-90/94.

    There is a new interactive map that does a better job of showing all the closings as of noon today.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default An incredible use of google maps

    I have been using google maps this morning to track wildfires in the west, but that is a great use for closures -- thanks for that post!

    Mark

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default When the detour gets detoured

    Thank the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. They not only created the map, but have been doing an excellent job of updating it all day long.

    Meanwhile yet another update, The original detour for westbound I-94 between Milwaukee and Madison has now flooded. Travelers are now being sent all the way down to the Illinois State Line, via I-43, and then back north on I-90/39 - which is closed again once you get to Madison.

    This is really starting to remind me of the problems a few months ago in Oregon and Washington State, where I-5 was closed due to floods.

  6. Default Memphis

    I'll be crossing the Mighty Mississippi around 4th of July.... hope it's ok by then.

  7. Default best way to stay on top of things?

    I'm going to start a cross-country trip soon. What's the best way to stay on top of road closures and weather warnings? Is there a radio station or website that tracks this sort of things nationally? I know there's google traffic, but that only covers mostly major metros. Anything else?
    Last edited by sunnymonkey; 06-13-2008 at 07:40 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Weather Radios and the 511 System

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnymonkey View Post
    Is there a radio station or website that tracks this sort of things nationally?
    The Federal Highway Administration has a site that tracks closures on a national basis -- click here. I would also suggest picking up a weather radio that monitors the NOAA weather broacasts -- you can pick them up at Radio Shack, and similar electronic stores -- or most CB radios have some of the channels.

    And, of course, you can always use the 511 system -- weather and road reports by state.

    Mark

  9. Default 511?

    How does the 511 system work?

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Dial 5-1-1 on your phone

    Kirby, it is similar to dialing 4-1-1 on cellular or wireline phone.

    Each jurisdiction -- in most cases, this is the state highway department -- maintains a pre-recorded message about road closures and weather conditions for major highways. It is updated several times each day as conditions warrant.

    Here is an article in the NY Times, that a colleague wrote about the system.

    Mark

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