MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Making the "Zoo Interchange" less of a zoo! Work continues after a full freeway closure went into effect on Friday night, July 18th. Crews have been hard at work this weekend -- shutting down I-94 in both directions at Highway 100 for 54 hours -- as part of the Zoo Interchange construction project. On Sunday, July 20th, more than 40 hours into the freeway closure, the DOT said so far, so good.
I-94 is set to reopen at 5:30 a.m. Monday.
DOT officials say they're very pleased with how this weekend's freeway closure went. The project is on time, the weather was great, and most drivers avoided the area.
Part of what was keeping crews busy this weekend was demolishing the old South Highway 100 bridge over I-94. Workers were also busy constructing a railroad bridge and doing some storm sewer work.
If you've been inconvenienced by the I-94 closure this weekend -- imagine what it has been like for those who live near where the work is being done! Some say driving outside of their neighborhood has been a test of patience, with all the traffic being re-routed.
Neighbors say they're accustomed to noise coming from the construction area, but this weekend, it was on another level. They say they could hear construction crews all night long.
"It did tear up our quiet community over here a little bit. We anticipated it to be loud, but I don't think we anticipated it to be that loud. It was basically like freight trains coming through your house the whole time. Just saw the Transformers movie, and you know how they break apart everything? It sounded like we had that movie just, you know, sounds going crazy through our house like that," Dawn Moore said.
Neighbors say they take some comfort in the fact that hopefully, this is as bad as it is going to get.
DOT officials say they're happy delays and traffic backups weren't as bad as anticipated.
"A lot of people are taking the advice and looking for alternative routes. Delays have been minimal to nonexistent," Mike Pyritz with the DOT said.
DOT officials say this full freeway closure has gone as well as they could have hoped.
"(On Monday) the barrels are gone -- the barriers are all back in place, the dust has been swept up," Pyritz said.
But of course, this is just one small step in the extensive Zoo Interchange project.
"Starting next year we actually get into what is known as Core 1, and that is when we start building the Zoo Interchange itself and that includes some system ramps that are gonna be closed for long periods of time and a lot of work," Pyritz said.
Aside from a fender-bender and another car with a stalled engine, there were no major incidents to report with this shutdown.
A lot of the work planned for Sunday night is just cleanup work. I-94 will be back open in time for the morning commute.