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 Jan. 6, 2015
I remember back in college, I came to the realization that several different versions existed of me. Those different versions of me continue to this day, but nowhere are they more pronounced than on social media. I embraced Twitter long before Facebook and Instagram, but now active on all three, you'll experience a totally different Andy Tarnoff if you only look in one place.
Published Dec. 30, 2014
These year-end lists are always fun to write, because they are so open-ended. So bear with me if I skip the regular categories and think outside the box a little for this one.
Published Dec. 29, 2014
As you can imagine, it's not easy being a four-season bike shop in a state where it's possible to see snow on the ground for eight months out of the year. But Steve Whitford, co-owner of South Shore Cyclery in Cudahy, says he knows no other way.
Published Dec. 22, 2014
I remember vividly how hard school was. Not just the homework, but the routine of waking up early, navigating its social intricacies. Granted, my daughter is only in K5, but still, she works hard - so I like to reward her with plenty of family fun when seasonal school vacations come around.
Published Dec. 17, 2014
Yesterday, I walked around Packard Avenue in Cudahy for the first time in a long time. I mean, I drive through or around Cudahy all the time, but yesterday was different. I stopped to smell the roses. Every real Milwaukeeans should pay a visit to downtown Cudahy every now and then. It's like a window into our past, and it's still alive and kicking today.
Published Dec. 11, 2014
We all had a good laugh when the word spilled that Scott Walker substituted "Molotov" for "Mazel Tov" in his Hanukkah letter to Frank Gimbel. But you know that Gov. Walker didn't write that letter, right? He didn't even sign it.
Published Dec. 2, 2014
Black Friday and Cyber Monday were good fun, but Giving Tuesday is all about giving back to our community. It's a relatively new concept, but several Milwaukee nonprofits participate, including Discovery World, UPAF and Pathfinders. One local organization, Penfield Children's Center, is making Giving Tuesday work through crowdsourcing.
Published Dec. 1, 2014
I'm going to beat the Milwaukee winter. I will not be cold again. I will laugh in the face of Snowmageddon. I will be toasty warm when the temperatures drop well below zero. Here's how.
Published Nov. 18, 2014
Take it for what its worth, but Playboy Magazine has Blue's Egg as one of its 101 best breakfasts in America (don't worry, the link is reasonably safe for work). The restaurant at 317 N. 76th St. came in 21st place out of 23 Midwest selections, just behind Mickie's Dairy Bar in Madison.
Published Nov. 11, 2014
Can you imagine how social media would've melted down exactly 101 years ago? Nov. 11, 2013 was the end of the "Big Blow," the "Freshwater Fury" or the "White Hurricane," a hurricane-force blizzard that killed more than 250 people and and destroyed 19 ships.