Zoo Interchange

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Zoo Interchange
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Coordinates: 43°01′39″N 88°02′04″W / 43.02750°N 88.03444°W / 43.02750; -88.03444
Roads at
junction:
I-41 / US 41
I-94
I-894
US 45
Construction
Type: Interchange
Opened: 1963 (1963)[1]
Maintained by: WisDOT
Map

The Zoo Interchange is a freeway Interchange on the west side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It forms the junction of I-94, I-894, I-41, US 41 and US 45. Built in 1963, it was one of the first Interstate Highway projects in Wisconsin. It is nicknamed because of its location near the Milwaukee County Zoo.

Design[edit]

Zoo Interchange at the western terminus of I-894 in 2008

The design of the Zoo Interchange was considered progressive for its time, featuring ramps on both the right and left sides of the roadways. This left-to-go-left, right-to-go-right scheme has since become obsolete, owing to the danger of merging into freeway traffic from the left. For this reason, plans for rebuilding the interchange in 2013-18 include converting all the ramps to right-exit right-entrance ramps.[2]

The control cities and highways at the interchange are, Downtown Milwaukee to the east, Chicago to the south, Madison to the west and Fond du Lac to the north.

History[edit]

The Zoo Interchange was completed in 1963. According to WisDOT: "it is one of Wisconsin's oldest interstate interchanges and is currently the busiest interchange in the state",[1] with an estimated 350,000 vehicles per day.[3]

Redesign and construction[edit]

Westbound on I-94 during reconstruction in 2015

The Zoo interchange is being redesigned to increase efficiency, reduce accidents, and add capacity.[4] Reconstruction began in 2013 and is scheduled to end in 2018.[5] Total cost is expected to be $1.7 billion.[3] The spending of $1.7 billion on this interchange has been criticized by urban groups,[clarification needed] culminating in a lawsuit filed by the Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope against the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in 2012. The lawsuit was settled in 2014 in exchange for $13.5 million in public transit improvements.[6]

References[edit]

External links[edit]