Roadways busy as vacationers return home - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Roadways busy as vacationers return home

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MARATHON CO. (WAOW) -

After a weekend of fun for the Fourth of July, thousands of people are making the trek home.

"This is one of the absolute busiest holiday weekends for travel," said Sergeant Rhae Stertz of Wisconsin State Patrol.

Drivers say they're running into busy roadways as they head south on Highway 51.

"You'll be going 70 miles per hour and all the sudden you'll hit those 30's for a couple of miles," said Thomas Ziolkowski of Appleton.

Holiday travel got off to a rough start on Thursday, when there was a six-car pileup on northbound Highway 51 near Brokaw.

But since then, Wisconsin State Patrol officials say there haven't been many crashes in central Wisconsin.

"Quite frankly this has been a safe weekend," said Stertz.

However, officials are still advising drivers to be careful.

"It is going to be the same amount of traffic on Sunday as it was on Friday," said Stertz.

State Patrol officials say a lot of people over the holiday weekend are towing boats or trailers behind their cars. They say one thing people need to do is make sure those items are tied securely.

"We see a lot of loose kayaks, bikes, boat trailers that aren't attached to the vehicles properly," said Stertz. "They need to make sure they're strapped down, just take an extra check before you hop in the car."

With rain on the weather radar Sunday afternoon, some drivers say they moved up their travel plans.

"We heard it was going to rain and we said, 'Hey let's get out of here at 10 a.m.,' and we packed up in about a hour and we got the heck out of there," said Ziolkowski.

As the roads stay busy, State Patrol officials are asking drivers to be more aware.

"The slower you go, the more time you have to react to anything coming up ahead," said Stertz.

State patrol officers are also asking drivers to check their cars' equipment.

They say people should always test their tires and window wipers before long road trips.

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