Wisconsin DOT Considering Demolishing Portions of I-794

May 23, 2023
Construction would run from 2025 to 2028

According to Milwaukee's Downtown Comprehensive Plan, sections of Interstate 794 could be demolished in order to address aging infrastructure, and make business and public spaces.

Tearing down the interstate between the Milwaukee River and Hoan Bridge could connect downtown and the Third Ward with the lakeshore, and activate space previously used by roadways for business development and greenspace. Boulevard conversion could generate $15 million in annual property tax revenue for the City of Milwaukee, and add needed housing in a high demand area, says a Madison-based advocacy group, 1,000 Friends of Wisconsin, which has endorsed the project.

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) is continuing its study of I-794 and plans on sharing their work later this summer.

Originally built in 1974, WisDOT is looking to spend $300 million to replace the sections of I-794.

Milwaukee's downtown area plan, called "Connec+ing MKE - Downtown Plan 2040," focusses on removing portions of I-794.

Transportation officials are currently weighing different construction options. Here are some of the options:

  • Bridges and ramps would not be replaced and would continue to deteriorate
  • Bridges would be replaced to match the existing structure as much as possible
  • Design features of bridges would be improved to meet current standards and include improvements, such as right-hand exits and entrances
  • All design features of the infrastructure would be improved, including speed limits, vertical and horizontal design of roadways and right-hand exits and entrances
  • Freeway is removed and replaced with a street-level design

According to WisDOT, if funding is available, construction would run from 2025 to 2028.

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Source: JSOnline.com