NO. 6 ROAD: I-94 North-South Freeway Project

Nov. 11, 2020

Heavily trafficked artery gets a major facelift, aiding multiple big businesses

(This feature published as "A New Commercial Thoroughfare" in November/December 2020 issue)

In 2017 the Wisconsin DOT faced new business developments along the I-94 North-South corridor including an Amazon warehouse and distribution facility, Uline corporate headquarters, Northwestern Mutual campus, and a massive 2,700+ acres, $10 billion Foxconn manufacturing development.

The interstate needed to be in such condition as to handle the anticipated influx of new commuter and freight traffic. A $160 million Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant given by the U.S. DOT to WisDOT would make this possible.

The project was able to capitalize on its adjacency to the Foxconn development site by utilizing quality clays present there to construct new vertical alignments at several freeway interchanges and overpasses. The Foxconn development was a mere 10 minutes from the major fill areas. Approximately 800,000 cu yd of material were used from the site, with daily production peaking at 10,000 cu yd. The 12-in. concrete pavement was placed at a peak rate of over 1.8 lane-miles per day. The slipformed median concrete barrier wall placement peaked at 3,600 linear ft per day.

Mainline staging was designed to perform major traffic stage changes outside of winter weather, allowing work to continue through the winter months. These staging strategies showed that traffic volumes decreased up to 20% during peak traffic hours, keeping delays manageable.

Of the project, WisDOT Project Manager Ken Kiepczynski said, “One doesn’t often find projects that challenge one’s ability to equitably manage time, resources, and quality within a tight schedule window quite like this one did. All involved did an excellent job staying true to timely partnering and keeping in alignment with the high-level goals our customers expect for this lengthy and busy corridor. A challenging, yet highly successful construction endeavor like this makes typical projects seem like a walk in the park.”

Project: I-94 North-South Freeway Project

Location: Southeast Wisconsin (Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee counties)

Owner: Wisconsin DOT

Designers: Bloom Companies LLC; DAAR Engineering Inc.; EMCS Inc.; GRAEF; HNTB Corp.; Jacobs; Kapur & Associates

Contractors: Michels Construction; Walsh Construction

Cost: $410.5 million

Length: 19 miles

Completion Date: June 21, 2020

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