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Riding with a semi driver through troublesome I-94 construction

Posted at 10:10 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 23:40:22-04

RACINE COUNTY, Wis. — The end of construction is months away for the I-94 corridor between Milwaukee and Kenosha Counties, but even as it inches closer, drivers need to remain alert.

TODAY'S TMJ4 headed out with a truck driving instructor to show drivers some of the dangers they are up against.

Milwaukee Area Technical College helps train the truck drivers who drive around Wisconsin. Jim Bergeman, an instructor and retired driver, has 45 years of experience behind the wheel. He said the problems are the same.

"Speed and cutting you off, " said Bergeman.

TODAY'S TMJ4 put Go-Pros on the MATC training semi to see just how tight things are for a truck driver. And how little room there is for any error.

"Even going 60, I'm still the slowest around," said Bergeman as he points out the people passing him.

Bergeman is going the speed limit for the construction.

Back in June, there was a fiery semi crash that killed two people in Racine County. A TODAY'S TMJ4 photojournalist saw the crash happen right in front of him. He captured people being pulled from burning vehicles.

The I-94 construction still has a few months to go between Kenosha and Racine Counties. The area from the state line to Highway G is expected to be done around Christmas. It will be nearly another year for the stretch of road between Highway G and College Avenue in Milwaukee County. That should finish in June 2020 according to Southeast Freeways Construction Chief for Wisconsin Department of Transportation Ryan Luck.

"We are shooting to finish some of the northbound pavement and bridges and to de-couple traffic into three and three lanes in each directions," said Luck.

That means drivers on the road need to remain alert.

"You just slow down and back off," said Bergeman as he points to a few cars riding over their lane lines.

Besides slowing down, Bergeman encourages everyone to put their cell phones down. It is illegal to use your phone in a construction zone in Wisconsin.