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WisDOT discusses upcoming Zoo Interchange construction plans

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MILWAUKEE — The Wisconsin Department of Transportation hosted a public meeting Wednesday, September 19th regarding the 2013 construction plans for the Zoo Interchange.

In February 2013, Hwy. 100 from the Milwaukee County Zoo to Mayfair Mall will be redone. The DOT plans to close one side of the highway at a time, and add a lane. Greenfield Ave. begins work a month earlier. Eventually a bridge over I-894 will be knocked down and rebuilt.

WisDOT is calling this the beginning of one of the largest construction projects ever in the state. It will make way for the extra traffic coming from the three year zoo interchange project that begins in 2014.

“I want to move for the next 15 years for this stupid construction. It’s going to be a disaster for us,” one neighbor said.

Molinaro says she is not looking forward to her daily commute from West Allis to Glendale when the construction begins.

“I’m going to pray for them because they got a lot of work to do. That’s about all I can do to support them,” Molinaro said.

Ryan Luck is with the DOT and said the $1.6 billion project is scheduled to be complete in six years.

“The infrastructure is quite old. This interchange was built in the 60s. It’s deteriorating, and although it’s 2012 now, 40 years have gone by if not 50 years and the concrete is starting to crumble,” Luck said.

Luck said he and his team know it will be a challenge keeping tourism flowing along with some of the summer staples — including Brewers’ games and the Wisconsin State Fair. Luck says Wisconsin will remain open for business, with two lanes open during peak traffic hours.

“We will have traffic shifting from left to right, from one side to the other, so it will be something that we’ll have to work on together with the community,” Luck said.

Drivers can get regular updates on the progress of the Zoo Interchange project by visiting the Zoo Interchange Facebook page — and “LIKING” it.