There is a fifth season in Wisconsin, which we all know as construction season. It is a season that will hit those of us on the I-90 corridor pretty hard over the next 7 years.  As frustrating as the orange cones and teeny tiny lanes can be, we also know the construction is a means to an end with safer and more efficient travel in the future.  So, here are my Top Ten suggestions for surviving and, dare I say, accepting, this season’s construction.  None of them are new or ground breaking and most were part of the wisdom my father imparted me with when I got my first car, but if having a reminder or a list to click through helps, here it is:

  1. As the slogan says, know before you go. The Wisconsin DOT has a great website with up-to-the minute information on routes. Take a peek at the site before you hit the road.
  1. Leave plenty of time for travel. Construction simply has to slow traffic in order to keep everyone safe.  Slower traffic means it will take more time to get where you are going. Needless to say, an accident caused by a driver in a hurry will slow everyone down.
  1. This one is pretty important to me and all the businesses here in Janesville. Continue to support your favorite businesses along your travel route. They need you now more than ever. If you stop frequenting a business because it is less convenient to get there, they may struggle to survive through the construction.
  1. Plan your stops. As mentioned above, the businesses along I-90 need your support throughout the construction. If you have to stop for gas or a meal, add in a little extra shopping or a stop at a local attraction. It will give you time to settle your nerves from stressful driving, time to stretch your legs and a chance to find a new favorite shop, restaurant, attraction or business along your travel route.
  1. Take advantage of having to slow down. I’ve had some great conversations with my daughter in the car while stopped or waiting for traffic to move. Your kids, spouse or co-worker are trapped there with you. Take advantage of the time to really talk, in-person, the old fashioned way.
  1. Keep your vehicle in good running order. I can hear my father’s voice in the back of my head on this one, and he is absolutely right. I don’t want to be that person who runs out of gas or has to change a tire in the middle of a construction zone.
  1. Stock your car with the essentials. Those essentials will differ for each of us, but having a phone charger, bottle of water or a little snack along with you can help you avoid extra stops and extra trips on and off the highway. My travel essential is a bag of chocolate.
  1. Keep distractions in the car to a minimum. Make sure the kids in the back seat know your focus needs to be on the road and distractions of any kind are dangerous.
  1. Bring a map or atlas. Yup, the kind that is printed on paper. Your Garmin, phone or app “should” have the latest updates and “should” get reception. But if any of your “shoulds” turn into “do nots”, you can take a look at the travel landscape the old fashioned way.
  1. In addition to a traditional old school map, go ahead and try the newest travel apps. There are some great ones out there. I am not a great source for tech information, but a 2 minute search of Google will find you plenty of options. Check with your techy friends or your teenager to help narrow your choice.



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Date Posted | March 21, 2016