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Wisconsin DOT releases first look at potential redesign concepts for I-794

Posted at 9:22 PM, Jun 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-23 23:09:58-04

MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) released nine different concepts of how they could redesign I-794 which has left many wondering if officials should rebuild the highway or tear it down.

"Whatever happens is going to be there for the next 40, 50 years so this could be a visionary transformative concept for the city," said Taylor Korslin, a member of Rethink 794.

It's no secret that Interstate-794 isn't a fan favorite for some Milwaukee residents.

"Me and all my friends hate it. It is the biggest mess I've ever seen," said Luis Larez.

"People from out of town get confused all the time merging over. This place always has traffic," said Aaron Larson.

While WisDOT is currently in the early planning and development stages, the agency is looking for feedback on nine different concepts they've come up with to possibly transform parts of the highway downtown.

"We see a lot of the options as very promising," said Korslin.

One design proposes making no changes. Six others suggest redesigning the interstate in several different ways which could open up more space near surrounding streets.

"I like the open space a little more," said Larez.

The other two concepts propose a complete freeway removal which could open up more than 15 acres of new buildable properties.

"More development means more city," said Larson. "There's always a benefit to having the buildings and the people living there more than the cars."

"They do everything we want to see. They touch down all the way to 6th Street with the integration into the city. And they disperse traffic in a nice way throughout the city so it's not going to all load onto one street," said Korslin.

To view WisDOT's proposed concepts, click here.

Rethink 794will be hosting an event with the Milwaukee Business Journal and the Marquette Real Estate Program to discuss more about the freeway project on July 17 at Marquette inside O'Brien Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.

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