NewsLocal NewsIn Your NeighborhoodFond du Lac


How WisDOT is looking to tackle flooding problems along I-41

Posted at 5:22 PM, Mar 12, 2024

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is proposing improvements to Interstate 41 in Fond du Lac County, which WisDOT Northeast Communications Manager Mark Kantola said will tackle the problem of flooding.

  • WisDOT is trying to address flooding in I-41 in Fond du Lac County.
  • Plans for re-grading a drainage channel near Hickory Road and replacing a storm sewer that goes to the Fond du Lac River.
  • “A lot of hydroplaning," said driver, Scott Johansson.
  • Video shows more on the plan, and how drivers describe driving on flooded roads.

"[Flooding] could be pretty scary," said truck driver Kevin Johnson.

No one understands the dangers posed by flooded highways better than people who drive for a living.

"It's real bad for the truck because of our breaks,” truck driver Walter Bell said. “It slows us down for one, and it's unsafe."

Scott Nabbefeld said flooding can slow him down because it forces him to pull over during a drive.

"It's real slow,” Nabbefeld said. “And half the time, you don't even know if you're gonna make it through."

Drivers in Fond du Lac county said driving in these conditions can pose a safety hazard.

“A lot of hydroplaning… you gotta try to slow it down to a level where you don't have to skid out as much,” driver Scott Johansson said.

And sometimes, drivers said taking a detour isn’t an option.

"Taking an alternate route, it depends on where you're at … some places you can't fit that truck, in like small places,” Bell said.

WisDOT’S proposed improvements are meant to address those concerns.

The five-year-long project would re-grade a drainage channel near Hickory Road on I-41 and replace a storm sewer outletting to the Fond du Lac River.

"We cannot have standing water on our interstates,” Kantola said.

The WisDOT is hosting several meetings starting Tuesday evening to get people's input on this and other I-41 projects.

"It's going to kind of show people our plans for how we want to keep that water off the interstate,” Kantola said.

There are two proposed routes for the water, and information is available on the DOT’s website.

The WisDOT is also hosting public meetings on Interstate 41 projects in De Pere and Appleton on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.