Ribbon cutting held for completed Mitchell Interchange project

MILWAUKEE -- After four long years, the orange barrels are gone and the ramps are back open in the Milwaukee's Mitchell Interchange. The project is finished and on Friday afternoon, November 9th, there was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

The project was a massive undertaking with the final cost of $300 million. It's complete with three new tunnels, 51 bridges and 17 sound barriers. In the end, the project was finished ahead of schedule and within budget.

"It's a great safe, efficient transportation system is so important to growing our economy," said Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Mark Gottleib.

Crews laid down 3,000 tons of asphalt, 12,000 tons of steel, and 17 miles of storm sewers.

"We are just very proud as an agency, all of us at the DOT, to be able to be a part of planning, designing, building and maintaining that system which is really the life blood of our state's economy," said Gottleib.

The Mitchell Interchange project is just one facet of a project to rebuild the I-94 north-south corridor from the Wisconsin-Illinois border. The rest of that project is expected to be complete in 2017.

And for those who are longing for the orange barrels to be back, they will be -- when the Zoo Interchange reconstruction begins in 2013.