Commuters beware: Hoan Bridge construction may soon alter your drive

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Wisconsin Department Of Transportation (WisDOT) says it is halfway done with the Hoan Bridge construction project, which means it's time for some new changes.

The project has been underway for a year, so that means there is just one more year to go on this two-year, $172 million project. The changes go into effect Friday evening into Saturday morning.

“We're on schedule and we're very excited to move on to the second phase,” said Ryan Luck with WisDOT.

Phase 2 of the I-794 lake freeway and Hoan Bridge Project means bringing traffic over to the newly-built eastbound and southbound lanes so they can work on the rest.

“We`ve been sharing with a lot of the businesses and the commuters just about how it's going to change,” explains Luck.

Luck says during stage one it was pretty easy to get into downtown but tricky to leave. This time around it’s going to be the opposite.

“We are always are going to see, especially next week Monday and Tuesday, those viewers that haven't heard about this information are probably going to get caught in some congestion early next week,” warns Luck.

Luck says if you don't pay attention and plan ahead, congestion won't be your only worry. Starting Friday, the Jackson/Van Buren exit will be closed. So if you're coming from the west, you'll have to exit before the river, otherwise you'll get stuck having to drive over the entire Hoan Bridge before you can turn around.

“That Jackson/Van Buren ramp has a lot of traffic on it, Is a key ramp so that's one thing people really need to understand for the second phase of this project -- get off early,” said Luck.

Luck says no matter what your route, a good rule of thumb is get off early, reduce your speed, and especially in the beginning, give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to go.

The temporary Milwaukee Street entrance on-ramp to I-794 east will also be closed, and the original Broadway ramp will re-open.

“I also want to emphasize the Plankinton ramp coming from the north and the south is open, however we are anticipating some congestion on that ramp so really consider taking those alternate routes,” adds Luck.

Some of those alternate routes are as follows:

Traveling from the north

    Traveling from the south

      Traveling from the west

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