"A very proactive approach:" Traffic engineers meet with emergency responders on Zoo Interchange Project

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Zoo Interchange Project is undoubtedly affecting daily commutes -- drives to work and school, but it's also having an impact on first responders. Obviously, emergency responders need to get to the hospital as quickly and easily as they can, and that's why responders meet with members of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation regularly to get construction updates as the massive project continues.

The billion-dollar Zoo Interchange Project is hard to miss -- with all the orange barrels and detours. The massive construction project can't get in the way of emergency responders trying to do their job -- responding to emergencies and getting folks to the hospital -- hopefully, saving lives.

"We take a very proactive approach," Zoo Interchange Project Supervisor Jason Roselle said.

To help them do their job safely and efficiently, first responders -- including police officers, firefighters, hospital workers, and even public transit officials and contractors meet with traffic engineers on a weekly basis. The traffic engineers walk these folks through what's happening with the Zoo Interchange Project now, a 10-day outlook and a two-month outlook.

For public safety officials, just because a road is closed to the masses doesn't necessarily mean it's completely closed off.

"A lot of times we are able to accommodate access through the closures, but not every case," Roselle said.

The information learned during this weekly teaching sessions helps those who work at hospitals and in fire houses to know exactly what routes are open on any given night, so that adjustments can be made if necessary.

"To make sure that everybody is on the same page with the closures and what the contingencies are  for them," Roselle said.

Routes are opening and closing on a daily basis as the Zoo Interchange Project continues.

CLICK HERE for the latest Zoo Interchange Project Traffic Report, and the DOT's "Get Around Guide."