Sunday, December 8, 2019

DOT says I-94 work to finish in June; 4 lanes open by New Year's

From The Journal

RACINE — Widening work on Interstate 94 is on schedule to be completely finished by June, but drivers should have a much easier time getting around by the first few days of the new year, according to Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Pyritz.

All four lanes of the interstate should be open — with an emergency shoulder — from Highway G in Racine County to Highway 142 in Kenosha County by the end of the month or very early January, Pyritz said. The north segment of the project, from Highway G to College Avenue in Milwaukee County, will have three lanes with a shoulder open all winter long, Pyritz said, with four lanes open in June.
It’s progressing well,” he said.
In August, the DOT said four lanes were supposed to be open between highways 142 and G by the end of October, but the unusually rainy September pushed those plans back.
The lanes should be open “in the very near future, probably T-minus a month,” Pyritz said. “Hopefully T-minus a few weeks, but Mother Nature will have more control over that than we will.”
The Interstate 94 North-South project was first planned a decade ago, in 2009. The entire project encompassed a 35-mile reconstruction of the Interstate from the Illinois-Wisconsin state line all the way to College Avenue.
About half of the highway was widened through Kenosha County, but budget cuts in 2011 under former Gov. Scott Walker effectively killed the project for several years.
It wasn’t until 2017, when the state lured Foxconn to Mount Pleasant with a bevy of incentives, that the project got funding to continue. And it came back fast-tracked, with a so-called “blitz construction” method.
Crashes doubled or even tripled in certain spots of the work zone, and more than doubled across the entire 18-mile span, a Journal Times investigation found. Through June this year, there had been more than 1,000 work-zone crashes, resulting in more than 200 people injured, since work began in May 2018.

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