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Residents share hopes for future of 60-year-old Stadium Interchange at WisDOT meeting

"It’s time to look around and see if there’s a better way to get around our community," said Robin Palm.
Stadium Freeway
Posted at 10:05 PM, May 11, 2023

MILWAUKEE — The Stadium Interchange is one of the oldest stretches of road in the city. Chances are you've been on it yourself to head to a Brewers game. Residents are getting to dream big about the future of the freeway – particularly the portion from Wisconsin to Lisbon Avenue.

On Thursday, the Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is taking its first step in discussing options with the community on what should happen to that portion, which separates the Washington Heights and Washington Park neighborhoods.

“We'd like to have access to our parks to our libraries, we'd like to be able to walk and bike around the neighborhood without dealing with a big noisy highway,” said Washington Heights resident, Robin Palm.

He was one of the dozens of people who attended the first of three public comment meetings. He told TMJ4 he’s long been advocating for the state and county to make changes to this Freeway.

“When we were first talking about this, everyone kind of dismissed us all as crackpots like 'why would you take out a perfectly good highway?'” said Palm. “My hopes are that we get a complete neighborhood. Finishing the neighborhood, bridging the divide between the neighborhoods.”

Montavius Jones agrees. He says that the freeway as it is now, isn’t productive for many residents.

“It does nothing to serve people on foot, it does nothing to serve people who are biking,” said Jones.

The six-lane freeway was built in 1962 and hasn't been updated in the six decades since. For residents like these, the chance to restructure the road is a chance to offer safety and convenience to the public.

“When your eyes are open to just the lawlessness and recklessness on our roadways caused by poor engineering and poor engineer practices, it’s hard not to show up to these kinds of events and make sure our voice is heard,” Jones shared.

And there are more opportunities for voices to be heard. The study isn't set to be finalized until the end of 2024.

The next public comment meeting is set for some time in the fall.

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