Zoo Interchange Reconstruction Triggers More Closures, Some Openings

Oct 15, 2014

Aerial photo of the progress through late September of the the Watertown Plank Road Interchange.
Credit DOT

Motorists who travel through the state's busiest freeway exchange will see more changes in the Zoo Interchange.

Zoo Interchange Mid-October 2014 Major Openings / Closings
Credit DOT

Ryan Luck, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's lead man on the Zoo reconstruction project understands motorists' confusion as they navigate changes in the busy exchange.

"The staging of this interchange is quite complicated. You're going to see ramps and bridges built where you're going to scratch you head going 'I have no idea what they're doing there,' but trust me, there is a plan," Luck says.

The Bluemound Rd. bridge over the freeway will close on Thursday. Motorists will need to find other routes to get around the construction site.

"U.S. 45 beneath Bluemound is going to have 12 lanes as opposed to the six you see right now. So if people are wondering why the bridge is being demolished and not done in halves, that's the reason,"  Luck says.

Meanwhile, a major arterial in the interchange will be put back in service. Luck says Watertown Plank Road is reopening, allowing passage to and from the Milwaukee County Regional Medical Center and points east and west.

Luck says work on the Zoo Interchange reconstruction will continue throughout the winter months. 

Completion of the $1.7 billion project is scheduled for December of 2018.