Itâ€™s easy to complain about highway construction in Milwaukee. After all, itâ€™s pretty much a constant. When one project finishes, another begins â€¦ if weâ€™re lucky. More often, it seems like every interchange or stretch of freeway is being worked on all at once.
While Milwaukee is an incredibly easy are to traverse, these projects slow us down with endless and confusing detours. Theyâ€™re a necessity, maybe, but they usually feel like a boondoggle.
Take this weekendâ€™s full closure of I-94. Smart that the DOT timed it when there wasnâ€™t a Brewers game or State Fair, but we went to the drive-in movie on Saturday in Jefferson, so we had to use the long detour on Bluemound Road. Basically, our trip time was doubled, and even though communication about the project was good, there was no getting around the major inconveniences from the closure. It wasnâ€™t pretty.
But one highway project has left me impressed. The Hoan Bridge reconstruction has been incredibly smooth for me, and I travel this stretch from home to work and back every day. Given the magnitude of whatâ€™s going on, the DOT has done this right.
A few parts of this construction stand out to me as model for how to do a major job. Iâ€™d never before seen a temporary barrier mover that lifts up and shifts the east side of the Hoan from one to two lanes and back, depending on day part. Because the road is literally wider during rush hour, what could be a challenging commute hasnâ€™t been so bad.
And by reversing an on ramp and moving another, there arenâ€™t many obstacles to get onto I-794, either. I dare say that the Hoan Bridge reconstruction is moving along so smoothly that Iâ€™ve barely hit a major traffic jam â€“ no matter what time I use it.
While I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve ever said this about the DOT before, Iâ€™m impressed. I donâ€™t always understand the politics or timing of road construction, but I appreciate a civic plan thatâ€™s so well thought out. For the many snarls of the Zoo Interchange, the Hoanâ€™s just isnâ€™t so bad.
We donâ€™t have to like summer freeway construction. But when itâ€™s done right, we donâ€™t have to curse it, either.
1 comment about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Andy Tarnoff
Published Aug. 22, 2016
I've said it for years. Door County means different things to different people. Whether your idea of this magical peninsula is nature or adventure, shopping or relaxing, friends or family - or a mix of everything above, one storyline arcs above all the rest: Door County is what you make it.
Published Aug. 19, 2016
My friend Drew Olson has a new work address. The veteran Milwaukee sports journalist / broadcaster - and former OnMilwaukee.com senior editor - ended an 11-year run as a talk-show host at ESPN Milwaukee (540 AM) last week and will begin a new chapter with The Big 920 (WOKY) on Monday.
Published Aug. 18, 2016
This Saturday, Priscilla Presley - actress, activist and, perhaps most notably, widow of Elvis - is coming to Milwaukee for "Elvis and Me," an open conversation at The Pabst Theater about the life and experiences of the original First Lady of rock 'n' roll.
Published Aug. 3, 2016
I didn't really even know I was interested in driving a motorcycle until the House of Harley invited me to take a Riding Academy New Rider course. In three days, I checked something off my bucket list that I didn't know was on it. I took it seriously, and it was hard. But also really satisfying.
Published July 25, 2016
Jessica Tighe is an appreciative person. While the Elm Grove native has worked in West Virginia, the Quad Cities and La Crosse, now she's home and co-anchoring the morning news on CBS 58. Ask Tighe how it feels and she actually gets goose bumps: "I have family here. I'm invested in this market," she says with a smile.
Published July 11, 2016
Summerfest 2016 may have come and gone, but the memories will live forever - because we at OnMilwaukee took enough photos and video to fill a large hard drive.
Published July 9, 2016
Playing before the Barenaked Ladies and OMD, Howard Jones got the 6 p.m. spot at the BMO Harris Pavilion Saturday night, and while that's not exactly top billing for an artist who had 15 top 40 singles during his career, I'll take it.
Published July 9, 2016
In a word, Paul McCartney was amazing tonight. I feel beyond fortunate that I've now seen him play twice. Now back at the office, at midnight, Bobby is writing the main review, but I have some stuff to say, too. Random stuff, so please indulge me.
Published July 7, 2016
Go ahead; get those laughs out of the way. I'm trying to write a serious review of Anthony Ray's Big Gig show. You, of course, know him as Sir Mix-a-Lot, and unless you listened to his tapes in the early '90s, you probably recognize just one of his songs.
Published June 30, 2016
If you've ever bought an official Summerfest T-shirt, hat or other branded gift, it's first gone through Dan Elias. As vice president of The Specialized Marketing Group Inc., he's managed the merch for the Big Gig for 17 years.