Milwaukee’s Zoo interchange is in such bad shape that Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) officials have decided to conduct emergency repairs that will be complete by the summer of 2010. It will mark the first accelerated construction schedule in state history.
The structures in question are the span that runs northbound through the interchange on I-894/Highway 45, the ramp which runs from southbound Highway 45 to eastbound I-94, and the ramp that goes from northbound I-894/Highway 45 to westbound I-94.
WisDOT initiated weight restrictions on the structures this past summer, but the conditions have worsened. Further inspections have revealed severe concrete cracking in the concrete girders, weakening steel-reinforcing bars due to corrosion and concrete falling from the bridges.
Construction will start in December and conclude in June, and the bridges will be torn out and replaced again when the entire interchange is reconstructed in 2014.
According to WisDOT, the current structures will not last until 2012, hence the need for the temporary work.
Prospective bidders have until Nov. 30 to submit their quote. WisDOT wants the winning contractor to construct large precast sections as long as 200 ft long to help move the schedule along.