Residents who lost trees to Zoo Interchange upset over possible delay

Plans for sound barrier on hold
Posted at 7:06 PM, Sep 16, 2016

Residents living along the Zoo Interchange Project in Wauwatosa weren't happy to hear Gov. Scott Walker announce a possible delay  in the project.

Many of them were expecting a new sound barrier to get installed and now don't know when that will happen.

Debbie Dickmann lives with her mother near the Center Street bridge over US 45. She says her mother bought the home in 1961.

"Before there was even a freeway and it was just an empty field," Dickmann said.

Her mom couldn't stop the freeway, but for decades enjoyed the large trees and bushes that were planted to block the view. Those were recently all torn out.

"You can't even sit outside and enjoy yourself, it's just too noisy," Dickmann said. "It's probably three times the noise. We bought new windows on the front of our house because of the noise."

Residents across the freeway from Dickmann voted to have a sound barrier installed, and were under the impression that would happen next year.

The residents on Dickmann's street just wanted their trees replanted.

But under the proposed transportation budget for 2017-2019, the north leg of the Zoo Interchange Project between Swan Boulevard and Burleigh would be delayed, while the core section of the project would stay on track.

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  • Walker said several projects would get delayed due to a budget shortfall. However, the proposal would allow more funding to go to local governments for road maintenance.

    The governor also stressed that the proposal does not raise any taxes, despite the budget shortfall.

    But if the Zoo Interchange Project gets delayed, Dickmann and her neighbors may have to look at their new freeway view for years.

    "I'm hoping we'll end up selling the house and moving," she said.

    The state legislature will take up the budget proposal when it reconvenes in January.