MILWAUKEE — Starting Saturday at 6 .m., the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's I-43 URT Bridge Project will begin.
"It's time for us to get after that project and get the preparatory work done. We did hold off on doing the work until after the Ryder Cup was complete," said WisDOT Regional Communications Manager, Michael Pyritz.
The goal of the construction project is to reconstruct the bridge structures on I-43. And in order to do that, the right lane along the freeway, just north of Capitol Drive, will be closed for the next three months.
"The structure itself is at the end of its useful life cycle. We are trying to get this work done and we're trying to pair it up," said Pyritz.
DOT officials say the construction will stretch between Capitol Drive and Henry Clay Street. And in an area that sees up to 130,000 cars a day, it's expected to cause some delays in the mornings and evenings.
"It's going to be crazy, traffic will be backed up for miles. It's crowded anyway, so this will be worse," said one driver, Danae Atkins.
To help with traffic, WisDOT officials say there will be a detour posted for drivers to follow. But mainly, they're asking commuters to follow the zipper merge method.
"We want everybody to use all three lanes heading up to the spot where that lane closes. We will have signs up saying merge here, and what we need everybody to do, if you're in the center lane, is let the car a little bit ahead of you pull in front of you. Then the next car should be pulling in right behind you," said Pyritz.
Officials add that they understand that the construction process may be frustrating, but they want to remind drivers to be safe on the roads and take their time.
"The people who are working there, they want to go home just as much as you do. So please slow down, mind your distance, pay attention, put the phone down," said Pyritz.
Officials add that they will do a full closure Friday night on I-43 during the overnight hours to put traffic control in place.