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Flood Detour Thread (renamed 6/17)


billyhallfan

After the game last night, I realize that 94 was closed not only by Johnson Creek, but at Highway 83, I needed to get back to Lake Mills...So I took the detour, big mistake!

I was wondering where the heck it was going, and it went all the way out to I43, and then, I finally got ticked off, and exited at HWY 12, and took that to Fort Atkinson, and then to Lake Mills...But the detour goes all the way to Beloit on 43, and then you get on 90 and take that to Madison, so I would advise everybody coming home from the game tonight, to NOT TAKE the detour, it is horrible, and if you need to go to Madison or anywhere near it, stay away from this thing, it is a waste!

 

(Renamed thread, since it is now being used for information on more detour routes than just I-94 - hawing)

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There may be no one for whom the current posted detour is more of an inconvenience than someone just trying to get back to Lake Mills, so I can see why BHF would be frustrated (not to mention the frustration level of the game you'd just been at).

 

We noted the extreme length of detour on the closure map yesterday and were trying to figure out an alternative to going that far out of the way; but upon seeing that 18 is closed in a few spots too, I think we are just going to take 43 straight from Milwaukee when coming home tonight. It'll be well out of the way, but considering that rain and storms are in the forecast again tonight, and we're not experts in navigating Jefferson County in the dark, we both feel more comfortable taking the long way in this case. I don't want to take 18 or 12 and discover a new closure that popped up today or tonight. Plus, not every closed road has a posted detour.

 

One of my coworkers has to take the interstate northwest from Madison to North Dakota today, so that her husband's ashes can finally be interred at a military cemetery there (he died this winter). So she has even more twists and turns to make, and for the saddest of reasons besides. I don't specifically want to sound all fuddy-duddy, but things could always be worse.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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I'd imagine that one of the big reasons for the massive detour is simply volume. I cannot believe that you can stick all of 1-94 on a 1-lane state highway (which may or may not be flooded as well) without worse backups than sending everyone to I-43. This keeps through traffic out of the small cities, whilst the locals can still find their way without going to 43.
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I returned from the game to Madison last night and can confirm that the detour which is laid out is terrible. Not only because of where it takes you, but because it is very poorly marked. To make matters worse, all day yesterday the DOT web site listed the detour as being from Johnson Creek to Lake Mills and rerouting using CTY B to HWY 89. At some point late yesterday they must have decided to move the detour all the way back to Delafield and reroute everyone down to I-43 to Beloit. I can understand that road conditions can change and they need to make adjustments, but the communication and sign postings was terrible. In the very least there should have been a sign at the detour exit summing up it's route. If they want to reroute everyone 40 miles that's fine, but at least tell everyone that's where they are going.

 

If anyone is going to the game today from the Madison area, I would stronly suggest NOT using the detour that the DOT has laid out. Heading all the way to I-43 will take you A LOT more time than cutting over on 59 or other roads. Just check a map before you go and come up with an alternate route. HWY 18 is closed for a mile in Dousman, but you can find a way around that as well.

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I did this trek yesterday to pick my brother up from UW. I left work in the Union Grove area, took 11 all the way to 90 then made my way to Madison, about 9 miles before the 12/18 exit off 90, the traffic slowed to a 5-10mph crawl. Everyone had to get off. So then I made the slow exit and noticed almost 75% of cars then trying to get off on 51N to continue their trips to where ever. Unfortunately the police were in the process of closing that exit. I would imagine partly because of sheer volume of cars "trying to find their way".

 

It was a mess indeed, but what I heard was that the trek through Beloit, was the only guaranteed non-flooded route. Along 11 for me, we had to stop and go around a flooded area by driving on what I would call a temporary alley detour. Barely wide enough for two cars, let alone semis that were behind me.

 

On a lighter side. As we returned to Milwaukee, along the closed 94W, some kids were riding their bikes & mopeds, and one kid had one of those long street louge boards and was climbing a hill. I guess some people found some fun. I just hope no one crosses over into that closed road.

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Official detours are not quick, they are on major roads. I'm not sure why this is an issue.

 

No sanctioned detour is going to use narrow roads and such. As pointed out, imagine the outcry if interstate traffic is told to take a highway...traffic jams will ensue. Official detours use the best roads possible. Locals will use other methods, but not enough folks will know them, or they will split up and take different routes to make much of a difference.

 

As Hawing points out, anyone stressed about this has it pretty good.

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Highway 16 around Hartland is the way to go coming back from Milwaukee.

 

Last night we took the 16 to the alternate 94, through Watertown (beautiful town by the way...I had no idea it was that big, either.). then we took the Q down to Milford, the A a short ways to Lake Mills, and then we were able to get right back on the 94 westbound. Sounds more complicated than it was. Still only took us about 90 minutes to get back to downtown Madison from Miller Park. Good luck and stay safe, all.

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"Official detours are not quick, they are on major roads. I'm not sure why this is an issue. "

 

They used non-major roads all the way down to I-43, about 35-40 miles. The use of major roads was not a factor in detour route. The earlier detour to Lake Mills was on county highways.

 

My problem is not with the roads that they chose, it was that they did not make any indication that they were taking everyone down to I-43, essentially a 90 mile detour if you were heading to Madison. It wouldn't have taken much effort to put an electric sign or any sign at the exit stating where the detour was heading. It would have been easy to do and helped out a ton.

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Official detours are not quick, they are on major roads. I'm not sure why this is an issue.

it sounded to me like he was trying to help others that were planning to travel that highway. i am sure many apreaciate the heads up so they can better manage their way through the detour.

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No way does any GPS keep up with road closings in the middle of nowhere for rising water. I did the drive to Madison and back yesterday for the Hot Rod Power tour and used my Tom-Tom which is enabled with traffic alerts. I used 94 to F south to D then west to 26/18 south to 18/89 eventually to 12/18 and onto Madison. Then coming back was able to take 94 the entire ride home. Today you wouldn't be able to do so, but there are infinitely faster ways than the state detour not to mention the state WAS NOT using major roads. DOA, I don't know where you got the idea that the state always uses major roads for detours but it is a rather wrong statement.
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Maybe a better way of saying it is they use better roads, not close ones. Back when they redid 14 by Richland Center a few years ago, the official detour was 80 to Muscoda and 60 to Gotham...about 20 miles. There are many county roads that are far faster, but they are not able to handle much traffic. The locals all took different routes.
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Well, we decided to use the posted detour Saturday night, since we knew there had been severe storms in Jefferson and Dane counties and did not know how much rain had fallen. It was long and uneventful - and after the travel problems so many have had this week, there was something to be said for "uneventful."

 

I'd still stop short of calling the detour "crap". For people unfamiliar with the area, or who would prefer to minimize their travel surprises, it achieves a purpose. That said, I hope WB service can be restored soon.

 

Just as a heads-up, though, as we took EB 94 across the Rock River yesterday, there was water by the right guardrail, and apparently the right shoulder of EB 94 is closed at the Crawfish bridge (story). I'd be dismayed, but not surprised, to learn of an EB 94 closure.

Remember: the Brewers never panic like you do.
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Brewer Fanatic Contributor

What's the latest on the interstate? I'm coming down to the Wednesday night game from the Madison area, how do things look?

 

I drove around the Baraboo/Lake Delton area yesterday.

 

1. The damage is just amazing.

2. The traffic backup on Hwy 12 was solid bumper to bumper for 30 miles.

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I had to drive to Watertown for work today. It was a pain getting TO Watertown West Bound.

 

But coming from Watertown it was a breeze, no closures going East Bound. So full freeway speeds, it was odd seeing an entire side of an express way totally devoid of traffic.

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The latest update on the Wisconsin State Journal was that 94 west bound will likely remain closed for quite some time since the water needs to recede far enough for the Rock and Crawfish bridges to be inspected before the highway can be reopened.
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