Public urged to provide feedback on proposed improvements in I-94 East-West Corridor

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- What to do with I-94's "Stadium Interchange?" That was the focus of a public hearing held by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on Wednesday evening, December 3rd.

The planned work will reconstruct the roadway and interchanges linking the Marquette Interchange and the Zoo Interchange.

The I-94 East/West Corridor, between 16th Street and 70th Street was built in the late 1950s. Few would disagree that it's time for a major makeover. But how, exactly to reconstruct the corridor is a matter of vast opinions.

DOT proposals involve the construction of a half-mile double-decker roadway near the Wood National Cemetery -- or, keeping the roadway at grade level, but narrowing the eight lanes of traffic.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett supports the second option.

"By going for this alternative, which is less expensive, you would save $1.8 million per foot. $1.8 million per foot is what we are talking about to go with the double-decker alternative. I don`t know if there`s anybody in the state who thinks that $1.8 million makes sense," Mayor Barrett said.

The Department of Transportation hopes to have a plan and funding in place so that construction can begin by 2019.

"The department has obviously made a big investment in the Marquette Interchange downtown. We're making another big investment out here in the Zoo Interchange, so completing a project on the East/West, connecting those two interchanges is vitally important," DOT Southeast Region Director Brett Wallace said.

Wednesday's public hearing took place at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park from 3:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Another public hearing is planned for Thursday, December 4th -- from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Marquette University High School, 3401 W. Wisconsin Avenue.

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