DOT seeking public input on I-94 East-West Freeway corridor

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MILWAUKEE -- The Wisconsin Department of Transportation hosted Tuesday, August 21st the first in a series of public meetings regarding the I-94 East-West corridor between 70th Street and 25th Street in Milwaukee County.

WisDOT officials are interested in hearing from the public on ideas for possible improvements to the I-94 East-West Freeway corridor. The stretch of freeway was just repaved this and last summer. The eastbound repaving project wrapped up just before Summerfest 2012.

Now, officials are looking for ways to ease traffic long-term -- seeking ideas from the public as to potential improvements for the freeway.

Work is underway on an environmental and engineering analysis of the I-94 East-West Freeway corridor. The project will cover approximately 2.85 miles of I-94 between 70th Street and 25th Street in Milwaukee County.

The study includes one system interchange (US 41/WIS 341/Miller Parkway) and six service interchanges (70th Street/68th Street, Hawley Road, Mitchell Boulevard, 35th Street, 26th Street/St. Paul Avenue, and West Wisconsin Avenue/Wells Street).

Many motorists say driving along the I-94 East-West Corridor between the Zoo Interchange and the Marquette Interchange can be a nightmare.

"I will not take the freeway during rush hour. You will be sitting in traffic," one motorist said.

In addition to comments, those who attended Tuesday night's meeting also expressed concerns. DOT spokesperson Michael Pyritz reassured everyone that right now, plans are a blank slate.

"'It`s hard to say what impacts there might be on individuals, business and certainly on historical issues. We are doing our best to accommodate all of the thoughts and processes people are asking us to look at as we go through this planning stage," Pyritz said.

Those who attended the DOT's meeting said they were happy for the opportunity to participate.

"They're brainstorming, but letting us get in on the brainstorming too," one motorist said.

This portion of the I-94 East-West Freeway corridor opened to traffic in 1961 and 1962. WisDOT has maintained and rehabilitated the ramps, bridges, pavements and other structures a number of times over the past 50 years, but the corridor is nearing the end of its useful life.

Construction on a potential project would kick off in 2019.

Another public meeting will be held on Thursday, August 23rd at Burbank Elementary School.

Written comments regarding the project can be mailed to 141NW Barstow Street, P.O. Box 798 Waukesha, WI 53214. 

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.