Two public hearings planned this week to discuss I-94 reconstruction

MILWAUKEE -- Residents have two chances this week to learn more about the latest plans for the reconstruction of I-94 between 25th St. and 70th St., which could include options like double-decking the freeway.

Alderman Michael Murphy said it is important for the project to address public safety concerns on the increasingly congested 2.85-mile stretch of freeway, but worried that some of the options being considered could have a detrimental impact on the quality of life in the surrounding community. He urged constituents to take the time to attend one of the hearings, learn about the plans and provide important feedback.

“Ultimately, residents in the neighborhoods that border I-94 have just as much of a stake in this project as the thousands of drivers who travel this stretch of freeway every day. The state Department of Transportation needs to hear and consider these residents’ concerns as they plan this project," Alderman Murphy said.

The first hearing will be on Wednesday, December 5th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Tommy Thompson Youth Center at Wisconsin State Fair Park, 640 S. 84th St. Attendees should enter at Gate #5.

The second hearing will be on Thursday, December 6th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Marquette University High School, 3401 W. Wisconsin Ave. Attendees are asked to enter the building from the parking lot on Michigan St.

In addition to double-decking some parts of the freeway to accommodate lane expansions and safety improvements, the options also include adding collector or feeder ramps, "braiding" ramps and making Hwy. 41/Miller Park Way into a boulevard.

Under some plans, General Mitchell Blvd. and 35th St. may not continue to be access points to the freeway, and some options could potentially necessitate the annexation of private land along I-94.

Department of Transportation officials hope to begin design work next year, with construction beginning in 2019.

“The Department of Transportation faces a delicate balancing act between the need to improve public safety and the concerns of the residents along I-94. I hope that, by working together with these stakeholders, they can minimize the negative impacts to the community," Murphy said.