State: Moving, Removing Signs Endangering St. Croix County Drivers
Whether they are thieves or simply impatient, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) said some people are putting western Wisconsin drivers at risk.
The location of the problem is the Highway 65 construction zone north of Interstate 94 in St. Croix County.
"Recently, traffic signs have been disappearing, barricades are being moved and travelers are repositioning tubular markers to drive through construction zones," said a WisDOT spokesperson.
The project began this past spring. It includes rebuilding the Highway 65 bridge over Interstate 94, the ramps carrying traffic between 65 and 94, and building roundabouts at four intersections in Roberts.
In its overview of the project on its website, WisDOT said that stretch of road "serves a high number of residents that commute to and from employment in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area."
The WisDOT spokesperson said moving or taking signs from the construction zone is both dangerous and costly to drivers and taxpayers.
"Taking, moving or altering traffic signs creates a dangerous scenario," said the spokesperson. "Taking time to move signs and barricades back into place also delays work and progress."
WisDOT asked anyone who sees someone moving or taking signs from the construction zone to call the St. Croix County Sheriff's Department or the Wisconsin State Patrol.
According to St. Croix County Sheriff's Department Captain Jeff Klatt, moving a barrier can result in 10-60 days in jail and a $263.50 fine. The penalty for moving or damaging an official traffic sign is a fine of up to $326.50.