Badger football traffic, construction projects add up to delays

Construction projects will cause more traffic for Saturday's Badger football game
Badger football traffic, construction projects add up to delays

When football fans head out to the University of Wisconsin’s first home opener on Saturday, they will need to take something with them in addition to Badger red and tailgate brats: patience.

That is because of several road construction projects in the Madison area that will slow traffic and add confusion for drivers from outside the area who are unfamiliar with the road changes. 

“This weekend we’ve got lane shifts, temporary lanes and there’s lane splits on the east beltline.  There’s a lot of different movement going on so there’s going to be that confusion as Badger football fans head to Camp Randall,” said Steve Theisen, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

In an effort to minimize the problems, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will suspend work on the beltline five hours before the Badger game begins and five hours after it ends. 

The game is slated to start at 11 a.m.

Even with that, the addition of 80,000 football fans to a beltline that already sees 100,000 to 120,000 vehicles a day will have an impact.

Officials are asking people to plan ahead for the additional traffic and allow more time for the drive.  They are also encouraging the use of public transportation to cut down on the number of vehicles on the road.

“There are going to be delays, even on a Saturday when there’s not much construction working going on there’s going to be delays.  There’s going to be that significant extra volume and they are going to be sitting in traffic longer,” said Theisen.

They are also suggesting individuals going to the game consider delaying their drive home afterwards to allow traffic to clear out.

Another area of concern is the construction on East Johnson.  Traffic there is down to one lane.  Madison City traffic engineers have been working to alter the timing on the traffic signals to move vehicles through the area more smoothly.