DOT Holds 2nd Public Meeting Series on I-94 Corridor
Initial meetings in August created an uproar when it was suggested that the 70th/68th Streets interchange might be removed in a rebuild of the freeway.
A second set of public meetings will be held this week on preliminary planning for reconstructing a stretch of Interstate 94, part of which serves Wauwatosa thoroughfares and business districts.
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is continuing an environmental and engineering analysis of 2.85 miles of I-94 between North 70th and North 25th street.
It includes one "system interchange" – U.S. Hwy. 41/Miller Parkway – and six service interchanges – 70th Street/68th Street, Hawley Road, Mitchell Boulevard, 35th Street, 26th Street/St. Paul Avenue, and West Wisconsin Avenue/Wells Street.
A first set of meetings in August brought an outcry from Wauwatosa and other area business owners, as well as residents, when it was suggested by the DOT that a rebuild of the East-West Freeway Corridor might involve removing the 70th/68th streets interchange.
The DOT contends that there are too many on/off ramps in the corridor, too close together, for optimal safety, and says that is borne out in accidents statistics.
If possible, urban freeway corridors should not have interchanges within less than a mile of one another, according to the DOT. North 70th Street is just less than a mile east of the 84th Street ramps, and North 68th Street is only about half a mile wes of Hawley Road.
But people who live and do business in the area were incensed and worried at the prospect of closing off a major access point to and from the greated metro area.
Dan Sidner, the ower of the popular Maxie's Southern Comfort, which stands practically in the shadow of the freeway at 68th and Fairview Avenue, told Wauwatosa Patch at the time that an estimated 50 percent of his customers arrive via the freeway.
Residents of much of eastern Wauwatosa who use the interchange also criticized the DOT not only for the inconvenience they would be caused but for even considering an option that would add to congestion of city streets.
The second set of open house public meetings are scheduled for the following times. The same information will be presented on both nights.
- Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m.
State Fair Park
Tommy Thompson Youth Center, Gate #5
640 S. 84th St., Milwaukee MCTS Route 67
- Thursday from 4 to 7 p.m.
Marquette University High School
3401 W. Wisconsin Avenue
*Use Henke Center entrance in parking lot on Michigan Street
MCTS Route 10, 30, 35