The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is calling it another milestone along the Zoo Interchange.
Drivers leaving downtown will be reaping the benefit of several reopenings. It's been about a year since drivers have been able to access WIS Highway 100 from the Zoo Interchange. Starting Friday morning, that will all change. Drivers will also notice free flowing traffic heading west to Madison on I-94.
Many of us have seen the backups and frustrations that come with traveling along the Zoo Interchange construction.
"They've had to put up with reduced lanes, tight congestion and if we have an accident or delay or a stalled vehicle," said Construction Chief Ryan Luck.
Luck said some of headaches along the busiest interchange in Wisconsin will be alleviated when I-94 westbound lanes open and access to Highway 100 ramps are restored.
Construction Supervisor Jason Roselle said this will save drivers time on the road while providing safer driving conditions for those heading west, north and south from the zoo.
"We're on new concrete, we're going to have more lanes in this area and we have bigger shoulders, new barrier wall,” said Roselle. “It's also just going to open up capacity, reduce congestion."
Nearly three years and half a billion dollars later, both phases of the zoo interchange core are inching toward the finish line.
"By the end of this year, we're probably going to be about 75-percent complete with the core of the interchange and that contract,” said Roselle.
Yet questions loom about what happens next after state lawmakers finalized the budget without funding the north leg. Roselle said that project is currently at a standstill.
WisDOT said Zoo Interchange construction is on time and on-budget. Its core is expected to be complete next August.