MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has begun reconstruction of the north leg of the Zoo Interchange.
The north leg of the interchange project takes place between Watertown Plank Road and Burleigh Road, with most of the construction happening around North Avenue.
"The segment we are going to be working on is really the busiest segment of the entire Zoo Interchange project," said Michael Pyritz, Region Communications Manager WisDOT.
The Zoo Interchange is the busiest interchange in Wisconsin with more than 350,000 cars traveling through it daily. WisDOT started the construction project about 10 years ago. DOT officials said it's one of the largest projects in the state with the project totaling $1.7 billion.
"This year we will have to reconstruct the railroad bridge over the interstate, that’s going to be a very extensive project, we need that to be able to create the space needed to make the lanes come through in a safe and efficient manner," said Pyritz.
The Meinecke Ave bridge was shut down on Monday and on Wednesday and Saturday, more closures are expected out on I-41 to the North Avenue exits.
Overnight on March 17, the DOT plans to shut down a section of the interstate for the removal of the Meinecke Ave bridge. Officials said they will have detours in place.
"We will be detouring people off at Watertown Plank or off the ramp at Mayfair Road, that would be for the northbound direction and southbound the freeway will be closed at Burleigh," said Pyritz
DOT officials said as they work to improve the safety of the roadways, they are asking the public to help make their work zone safer.
"Making sure you're driving slow in the construction zone. Drive at the posted speeds and if the weather is inclement, slow down more. It’s a very tight work zone and a very tight area," said Pyritz
Here is a look at Wednesday and Saturday closures:
Wednesday evening, March 10:
- Long-term (through 2023) closure of I-41 SB exit to westbound North Avenue–
- Long-term (through 2023) closure of I-41 SB exit to eastbound North Avenue
- Long-term (through 2023) closure of North Avenue entrance to I-41 SB
Saturday evening, March 13:
- Long-term closure (through 2023) of I-41 NB exit to westbound North Avenue
- Long-term closure (through 2023) of North Avenue entrance ramp to I-41 NB