Zoo Interchange project complete, WisDOT celebrates reconstruction

Interstate 41/Wisconsin State Highway 43; I-41/WI-45 near the Zoo Interchange

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation celebrated completion of the Zoo Interchange North Leg project Thursday, Nov. 9.

The completion of the North Leg also marks the completion of the entire Zoo Interchange project, WisDOT said. It was finished $200 million under budget.

As one of the busiest interchanges in the state, WisDOT said the Zoo Interchange is a critical hub for commerce and tourism throughout Wisconsin. There are about 108,000 jobs located within two miles of the Zoo Interchange, officials said, and it is the main access route to local manufacturers.

SIGN UP TODAY: Get daily headlines, breaking news emails from FOX6 News

The interchange connects western Milwaukee County to the Fox Valley industrial region. In addition, more than 20,000 trucks a day travel this section of highway carrying more than $20 billion in freight each year, according to WisDOT.

The 1.7-mile North Leg reconstruction project started in 2021. It has expanded I-41 to eight lanes from Swan Boulevard to Burleigh Street in Wauwatosa. The project also reconstructed the Burleigh Street and North Avenue interchanges, built a new bridge for the Union Pacific Railroad, and replaced bridges at Mayfair Road, North Avenue and Meinecke Street. In addition, crews built several retaining walls and noise barriers along the interstate corridor.