Highway work to begin

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:22 pm

Orange barrels set to come out on I-43
Motorists are being advised to prepare for congestion or plan alternative routes as repair work is set to begin on portions of I-43 in Milwaukee County.
As with previous major projects on the area Interstate system, steps are being put in place to lessen the impact of the work, which is set to being on Monday, March 18.
Resurfacing, bridge repairs and ramp improvements are scheduled on 4.9 miles of I-43 between the Mitchell Interchange and National Avenue, and on 3.5 miles from North Avenue to Lexington Boulevard, requiring extensive lane and ramp restrictions.
Up to 140,000 drivers use the Mitchell-National segment each day, while average daily volume is 150,000 vehicles between North and Lexington. WisDOT is encouraging up to 40% of drivers to use alternate travel modes or routes to avoid severe freeway congestion.
“Engineers, contractors, and construction workers all have learned much during the last several years of major work on Milwaukee-area freeways, and have found innovative means and products to meet tight deadlines,” said Leslie J. Fafard, DOT director for southeastern Wisconsin.
“The 2002 schedule will be extremely tight, with work finishing in stages to minimize disruption to businesses, truckers and commuters,” he said.
Night work (8 p.m. to 6 a.m.) will begin March 18, with two lanes closed over substantial segments of both projects. Single lane closures on the north project from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. also will start March 18. Permanent lane and ramp closures on the south project will start April 7, when one lane will be closed during the day and two lanes at night.
Lanes and ramps on the North-Lexington project will be open most of the time during rush hours. Work on North-Lexington generally will be limited to 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. However, peak-hour lane and ramp closures will be permitted for a three-week period sometime between Easter (March 31) and May 24, the start of Memorial Day weekend.
Deadlines include:

  • After May 24, three lanes in both directions will be open during peak hours (6-9 a.m. and 2-6 p.m.) between North and Lexington.
  • I-43 between Oklahoma and National Avenues, plus northbound on-ramps at Holt and Howard Avenues, will be fully open during peak hours by June 27, in time for Summerfest, baseball’s All-Star game and the Circus Parade.
  • By Aug. 16, three lanes will be open in both directions from the Mitchell Interchange to National, and North to Lexington, between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m.
  • All work from the Mitchell Interchange to National will be completed by Aug. 30. The North-Lexington project will end by Oct. 15.
    Steps to aid travelers will include:
  • Extra patrols for the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department and police departments in Milwaukee and St. Francis, as well as more enforcement equipment and crossing guards.
  • Improved signal timing on key parallel surface streets.
  • Extra bus service, including freeway flyers, plus improved park-ride lots and six new Crash Investigation Sites.
    Northbound on-ramps at College and Holt Avenues will be restricted for much of the construction period, but law enforcement officials, emergency responders and bus drivers will be able to open gates electronically to access the freeway. Park-ride lots at both locations have been resurfaced and expanded.
    “Extensive night and weekend work will minimize ramp and lane closures,” Fafard said. He added that resurfacing and bridge repairs are needed for safety, and will delay need for reconstruction of the freeway for 12 to 15 years.
    Meanwhile, reconstruction of 1.5 miles of Highway 32 in Racine County has already begun. The $5.2 million project involves reconstruction and and expansion of the highway between Three Mile Road and one-third of a mile north of Four Mile Road north of the city of Racine. “Average daily traffic volume of 14,900 vehicles, including 10% trucks, exceeds safety standards for two-lane roadways,” said Dan Jashinsky, project manager for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. “Also, the existing pavement has deteriorated and drains poorly,”
    Daily volume is expected to approach 19,000 vehicles in 20 years, he said, adding that the crash rate in the area currently exceeds statewide rates for comparable roadways. Rapid business growth in the area continues to increase traffic.
    March 15, 2002 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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