Zoo Interchange FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions






How will construction affect access to my business?

Throughout construction access to all businesses will be maintained. Certain lane or road closures may require a driveway or sidewalk to be closed, but there will always be a way for vehicles and pedestrians to access the businesses in the construction work zones.


What tools are available to help my business in/near a construction zone during this project?

WisDOT maintains full communication and works closely with local businesses that are impacted by ramp and lane closures. The team coordinates all lane closures with local businesses and informs them of what is closing and when. WisDOT informs the public and provides alternate routes to them so they are able to access these businesses during construction. In This Together is a WisDOT program aimed at businesses affected by road construction. Visit the In This Together program's website for ideas and examples of how businesses not only survive, but thrive during a construction project. The program includes a workbook and case studies that demonstrate techniques that have been successfully used in communities throughout Wisconsin. This program is offered to business and community leaders as an idea source as they plan for construction in their area.


What is the best route to take to get to the Milwaukee County Research Park?

Currently, there is a significant amount of construction on Wisconsin Avenue. Thus, the best route to take is US 45 to the exit ramp at Watertown Plank Road, or I-94 to the exit ramp at WIS 100.


What is the best route to take to get to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center?

Currently, there is a significant amount of construction on Wisconsin Avenue. Thus, the best route to take is US 45 to the exit ramp at Watertown Plank Road, or I-94 to the exit ramp at WIS 100.


What is the best route to take to get to the Milwaukee County Zoo?

Currently, there is significant construction on US 45 at Bluemound Road/Wisconsin Avenue. Thus the best route to the Milwaukee County Zoo is to take US 45 to the exit ramp at Watertown Plank Road, take I-894/US 45 to the exit ramp at Greenfield Avenue, or to take I-94 to the exit ramp at WIS 100.



What will be done about noise levels, dust, and dirt?

Those residents living near a work zone will experience an increase in construction vehicles, dirt and dust levels, and noise levels throughout the duration of the project. WisDOT monitors the contractors closely to ensure they are utilizing dirt and dust control measures. Drilling and boring are usually restricted to daylight hours to reduce noise levels during the night. However, there may occasionally be construction-related noise between the hours of 9:00pm and 5:00am. If you have specific questions or concerns regarding construction activity, noise levels, or dust and dirt levels that affect you, contact the project team via email at zooicteam@gmail.com.


How do I find out about informational meetings or flyers that will inform me of construction in my neighborhood?

Details about construction and informational meetings can be found in the most recent Newsletter under the "Resources" tab on the home page. All meeting information is posted at www.zooic.org. Additionally, you can contact the project team via email at zooicteam@gmail.com for more details or questions regarding construction, flyers, or informational meetings.



What is the purpose of this project?

The Zoo Interchange Freeway Project is one of Wisconsin's oldest interstate interchanges and is currently the busiest interchange in the state. WisDOT has maintained and rehabilitated the ramps, bridges, pavements and other structures, but the interchange is nearing the end of its useful life and is in critical need of rebuilding. A review of the facts and engineering studies indicate that continuous motorist and truck traffic has led to the freeway's deterioration. Public safety will be jeopardized if rebuilding does not occur soon, and without that, the smooth flow of traffic through the region will be impeded. WisDOT has coordinated closely with local and regional governments and agencies to develop reconstruction plans to meet the needs of the public. The overall goal for the Zoo Interchange project is to create a safer, more reliable transportation system to serve the state of Wisconsin. The goals for the design include: improving safety, reducing congestion, replacing aging infrastructure and outdated design, and investing in the future of Wisconsin's economy.


Why will construction on this project continue until 2018?

Construction will continue through 2018 because of the size and complexity of the project. In addition to the complete reconstruction of the I-894, US 45, and I-94 approaches and the interchange core as a four level system interchange, the project also includes improvements to service interchanges at North Avenue, Watertown Plank Road, Bluemound Road, 84th Street, HWY 100, and Greenfield Avenue, as well as major arterials HWY 100, Glenview Avenue, and Watertown Plank Road. Construction on the major arterials is scheduled to occur from 2013 through 2014 so that those routes will be able to efficiently handle diverted and detoured traffic once the core reconstruction begins. The core reconstruction is scheduled to take place from 2015 through 2017, and then the north leg of the interchange (US 45) is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.


Where can I check closures and detour routes?

All closures can be found here. The closures are populated into the website through WisDOT's Lane Closure System (LCS). The closure's start and end time, location, type, and description are all provided so you can safely plan your trip. You can also search for future closures on the website. Please note that planned future closures are full closures and do not include short-term lane or nightly closures. In addition, closure information can also be found in the Latest Traffic Report article, which is updated weekly. Project articles are posted on the website as well to inform the public of lane and ramp closures. If any work requires a full freeway closure, lane closure, and/or ramp closure, detour routes are posted with the article to assist the public with avoiding the construction. Detour information can also be found on the each project page listed in the Newsroom on the homepage.


Where can I find how the Zoo Interchange will look like when construction is complete?


I am interested in working on the Zoo Project. Is that possible?

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation does not hire construction workers directly; WisDOT awards construction contracts to the lowest bidding prime contractor, who hires their own employees.

The current prime contractors on the Zoo Interchange project are listed below (this does not include sub-contractors; updated 1-8-15):

  • Zoo Interchange Core Phase I Project - Wisconsin Constructors 2


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