MILWAUKEE -- Planned maintenance on select ramps in the Marquette Interchange in Milwaukee will impact drivers for several months starting on Wednesday, Feb. 28.
"The key is patience and planning," said Michael Pyritz, with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT).
Drivers should plan on packing their patience, with several ramps and lanes set to close long-term around the Marquette Interchange.
"It's going to be a lot of people reacting. A lot of people looking going, 'OK where can I go?'" said Pyritz.
Pyritz said starting Wednesday night, crews will work around the clock on important interchange and high rise bridge rehab work.
"It's going to allow for us to extend the life of the structure itself and provide a better ride for motorists who use the High Rise Bridge," said Pyritz.
The closures include the on-ramp at 11th and Wisconsin, and westbound 794 to I-43 southbound. Drivers will also face closures at 94 eastbound to 43 southbound and the exit ramp from 43 north to Plankinton Avenue, I-43 will be reduced to two lanes in each direction along the bridge.
"It's just going to be bumper-to-bumper," said Joseph Granado.
Near 6th and Mineral, Granado on Tuesday prepared for frequent traffic jams. He said he plans to leave home much earlier during the long-term closures.
"Getting to places where it took 15 minutes may take, God knows, hour, maybe 45 minutes," said Granado.
Pyritz said the work will mostly impact drivers heading south through the Marquette Interchange. The long-term project is expected to wrap up around August.
"We're expecting everybody after a little bit of a headache at first to be able to find that way that works for them," said Pyritz.
With all the ramp closures comes a handful of detours.
Here is a quick break-down of what is ahead -- and what is closing:
Wednesday, Feb. 28
- Full closure I-794 West to I-43 south system ramp - 9 p.m. through late June 2018
- Full closure I-94 East to I-43 south system ramp - 9 p.m. through late July 2018
- Full closure Wisconsin Avenue/11th Street entrance ramp to I-43 south - 9 p.m. to summer 2018
Thursday, March 1
- Long-term right lane closure I-43 south 11 p.m. - August 2018
Friday, March 2
- Full closure I-43 north to I-794 East and Plankinton Ramps 11 p.m. to early May 2018
- Long-term lane closure I-43 north 11 p.m. - late August 2018
- Full closure 6th & Mineral entrance ramp to I-43 north 10:30 p.m. - late August 2018
- Full closure 9th & Walker entrance ramp to I-43 north 10:30 p.m. - late August 2018
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Valley Bridge was initially constructed in 1967 and the concrete deck was replaced between 1988 and 1989. The decks were widened as part of the Marquette Interchange project completed in 2008. The southern portion of the bridge was overlaid in 2013. This project will overlay the northern section at the junction of the Marquette Interchange fly over ramps to complete the planned maintenance of the structure.