If your daily commute includes a trip along westbound I-94, today would be a good day to try another route.
Beginning tonight, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation the right lane of westbound I-94 will be closed between 32nd Street and 72nd Street in Milwaukee County. During off-peak travel times, the two right lanes will be closed.
In addition to travel lanes, on-ramps at N. 35th, Mitchell Blvd. and Hawley Road will be closed as will the Mitchell Blvd. off-ramp, though both Mitchell Ramps will be opened for Brewers games at Miller Park.
A second project will take place in Waukesha County between 124th Street and WIS 16 in Pewaukee. The area between N. 70th and 124th Streets will not be part of the project because it will instead be rebuilt along with the Zoo Interchange.
The closures are part of a two-year $70 million effort to resurface the heavily-traveled freeway between Downtown and Pewaukee. It is the third resurfacing project for the freeway, which opened in 1963, and the first since 1997-1998.
In Waukesha County, the surface will be completely rebuilt with the crushed old surface being recycled into the new roadway. The Milwaukee County portion of the project will patch the current surface with a new layer of asphalt on top. The new road surface is expected to last between 12-15 years.
"At the end of that stretch, we'll consider a pavement replacement or a complete reconstruction of that corridor, which would involve taking out the old underlying pavement and putting in a new structure," says project director Bob Gutierrez.
Work on the westbound lanes is being done first due to the ongoing project to reconstruct the Mitchell Interchange. Currently, the ramp connecting eastbound I-894 and northbound I-43/94 is closed which is increasing the traffic flow on eastbound I-94 between the Zoo Interchange and Downtown.
"We worked to coordinate between the two projects," Gutierrez says.
To assist WisDOT's plan of keeping up approximately 75,000 vehicles off the road each day, both the Milwaukee County Transit System and Waukesha Metro Transit plan increased service along the I-94 corridor.
Waukesha Metro Transit will add service between Waukesha, Froedtert Hospital and the VA Center while expanding existing service between Waukesha and UW-Milwaukee.
Traffic signals will also be adjusted along major east-west routes to keep the increased traffic flowing.
WisDOT expects lane closures during peak travel times to be completed by June but work will continue into Fall. Next Spring, the process will be repeated on the eastbound freeway.