Community groups propose alternative to DOT's I-94 expansion

NOW: Community groups propose alternative to DOT’s I-94 expansion

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- In between the modern zoo and Marquette interchanges lies a 3.5-mile stretch of interstate highway that is reaching the end of its useful life.

The section of Interstate 94 between 70th and 16th streets in Milwaukee was built in the 1960s. 

The aging infrastructure is in need of major repairs to the roads, bridges and interchanges along the route.

The Wisconsin DOT is beginning the long process of reconstructing the corridor and also expanding it from six lanes to eight lanes.

However, local community groups are protesting the plan, saying expanding the highway will negatively impact those living close to the highway, and doesn't address the actual needs of many Milwaukeeans. They put forward a different proposal. 

"The transit-rehab alternative would repair and modernize the road, fixing safety and operational concerns, but keep the current six lanes," said Gregg May of Friends of Wisconsin. "It looks to add an additional transit route along National and Greenfield avenues, as well as a North-South route along 27th as promoted by the MPO, and it promotes walking and biking infrastructure, particularly along the stadium freeway."

Proponents say the expansion is very much needed to alleviate congestion and also promote growth in the city and the state. 

They say it would also reduce accidents and fatalities in that section, which is twice the rate compared to other highways in the state. 

Right now, the DOT is conducting an environmental impact study and it still needs final federal approval.

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