Representatives from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation presented a detailed planned of the Zoo Interchange Reconstruction Project on Tuesday to Brookfield's Common Council.
Chris Hager, project engineer for the DOT, Andy Kowske, deputy project manager from Forward 45, and Robert Gutierrez of the DOT presented a PowerPoint overview of the $1.7 billion dollar project, complete with maps, costs and design plans.
Kowske told the council that the main reasons for the reconstruction are safety and design upgrades, noting an average of three traffic accidents on the interchange a day.
The project will also reduce congestion, with more than 350,000 motorists using the interchange a day.
The DOT's website says the project is cost effective and requires less property acquisition than previous major construction projects.
"The design of the Zoo Interchange requires less property acquisition than the previously considered design alternatives, therefore having less of an impact on the local tax base," the website says. "It also reduces the projected construction cost by $600 million from previously considered design alternatives."
The website also says extensive research has gone into the design of the project to ensure its sustainability.
Five-phase project in 2013
A team of structural engineers are working to design more than 65 bridges and more than 100 retaining walls in the interchange, the DOT said.
The project began with the demolition of the Greenfield Avenue bridge over Interstate 894.
A new bridge will be completed by July, built wider with two left turn lanes at each freeway entrance ramp.
The second phase of the project is set to begin in late February and last through late 2013. Highway 100/Mayfair Road will be reconstructed from Interstate 94 in the Zoo Interchange to just north of Watertown Plank Road, widening to four lanes in each direction.
Two lanes of traffic will be maintained, except for the following times: full closure of intersection at Bluemound Road and Hwy 100 from July 20 through July 31; full closure of the intersection of Hwy 100 and Watertown Plank Road from Aug. 1 to Aug. 10.
"You will want to avoid this area completely during those times," Hagen said.
The third phase runs May through August at Glenview Avenue at 84th Street.
Eighty-fourth Street from I-94 to Bluemound Road will be resurfaced and turn lanes will be improved. The intersection of Glenview and Wisconsin avenues will be closed for one month, and Glenview Avenue will be closed for two months with local access only to residents and schools. Sixty-eighth Street, 97th Street, Bluemound Road and US 45 are suggested detours.
Swan Boulevard will be reconstructed from just east of U.S. 45 to Watertown Plank Road during the summer, as part of the fourth phase. Discovery Parkway can be used as a detour.
The fifth phase begins in May and is expected to last through late 2013. The Cleveland Avenue Bridge over I-894 will be closed for reconstruction. Lincoln Avenue, 84th Street, and Hwy 100 can be used as detours.
The DOT regularly updates its website with information about the project, including closures and detour routes, at zoointerchange.wi.gov.
The website also features a live list of travel times in the areas affected by construction.
Motorists can also subscribe for email updates from the DOT, and get updates from DOT Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Major construction in the interchange is expected to last through 2018 and motorists are advised to keep up with those resources for updates and detours.
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