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WisDOT officials speak out on Gov. Evers’ budget, calling for completion of Zoo Interchange Project

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MILWAUKEE — Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on Wednesday, March 13 held a news conference at Children’s Hospital to discuss the Zoo Interchange Project.

Governor Tony Evers’ proposed budget calls for finishing the project and expanding I-43 from two to three lanes in Milwaukee County and Ozaukee County.

A news release from WisDOT officials said remaining work includes the roadway and structures between Swan Boulevard and Burleigh Street. They noted it is “the busiest interchange in the state,” and sees 350,000 motorists each day.

Milwaukee Regional Medical Center officials said improving the Zoo Interchange will help save lives.

“Each day, the number of patients, visitors and employees traveling to our campus is the equivalent of a sold out game at Miller Park,” said Bob Simi, executive director.

To pay for transportation improvements, Governor Evers wants to raise fees and taxes, including an additional eight cents to the current gas tax. Evers wants to offset that cost by repealing the state’s minimum markup law, but Republicans said the math doesn’t add up, and could write their own budget proposal instead.

Preliminary and final engineering could be completed by July of 2020 with a project let allowing construction to begin as early as late summer 2020.

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