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Thu, Jul 20, 2006

What's The Best Road To AirVenture?

If Not By Air... Here's Some Info For The Highway

by ANN Correspondent John Dorcey

Summer in Wisconsin can mean only two things to ANN readers -- AirVenture, and the inevitable road construction between you and Oshkosh. Like preflight planning, road trip planning will make your trip less stressful. It may even mean arriving in Oshkosh when you had hoped. There are excellent planning tools available for the savvy road warrior.

Just like preflight planning, you should have an idea of your general route including airways, or highways numbers. There are plenty of on-line resources available for that preliminary planning. Rand McNally and Mapquest are two well-known resources. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) provides great planning tools on their web site. AAA also has information on gas prices, roadside assistance, and recommended repair facilities. AAA membership is not required for much of the available data.

Armed with your preliminary route data you can locate those dreaded detours. The US DOT provides links to all 50 states through their web site. Several clicks later, you'll know exactly where the detours are. After you visit three or more state web sites, you will begin to notice not so subtle differences. Layout and number of levels to bore through to get needed information are just some of the differences. Not all states share the same detailed data and some require more clicks then others. Keep looking, construction, and detour data is there.

Once you have entered Wisconsin, your planning details should become more specific. The state's DOT provides up-to-the-minute road construction data through three outlet types. A visit to their web site (see below) results in detailed information regarding both construction areas and detours. Dedicated radio broadcasts providing timely details for specific construction areas are available. During typical office hours, you can call the regional transportation offices; numbers are listed on the web site.

Major routes to Oshkosh have road construction considerations. Currently, with just days to AirVenture, you should know that the following roads are affected:

US 151 from Iowa to Fond du Lac
  • Construction areas are near Platteville, Madison and Fond du Lac. There are no off-road detours. Some sections are limited to a single lane and there are several ramp closures.
I-94 from Minneapolis to Madison
  • There are at least four active construction areas between Eau Claire and Madison. You have to contend only with lane reductions and possible ramp closures.
I-90 from La Crosse to Madison
  • There are no construction areas until after merging with I-94 in Tomah. After Tomah, expect two areas of land closures.
I-90 from Rockford to Madison
  • There are no construction areas over this route this year.
I-94 Chicago to Milwaukee
  • There are no construction areas over this route this year. Use I-894 around Milwaukee to avoid the Marquette Interchange reconstruction.
US 41 Milwaukee to Oshkosh
  • Construction in Fond du Lac County will be the greatest road obstacle this year. A detour using state highways will add both time and miles to your trip.

This data was accurate the first days of July, be sure to get updates prior to your departure. Drive safe, arrive safe.

FMI: www.autoclubgroup.com/wisconsin/automotive/index.aspx, www.fhwa.dot.gov/trafficinfo, www.dot.wisconsin.gov/travel/road/workzones.htm

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