I-41/US 45 freeway closure postponed due to anticipated severe weather

Updated: 4:21 p.m. on July 22, 2022

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- This weekend's I-41 closure has been postponed due to expected severe weather. 

The Wisconsin Zoo Interchange North Leg Project says they now plan to work beginning at 11 p.m. Friday, July 29, until 5 a.m. on Aug. 1.

There will be a full closure of I-41 in both directions between Burleigh and Watertown Plank Road during that time.

Published: 2:42 p.m. on July 21, 2022

WAUWATOSA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Pending Mother Nature's approval, a stretch of I-41/US 45 between Watertown Plank Rd. and Burleigh will close at 11 p.m. Friday night until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

The closure was supposed to take place last week, but a threat of storms forced crews to postpone. Michael Pyritz with the Department of Transportation says they're hopeful the weather will cooperate this weekend.

"This work is very weather dependent," said Pyritz. "We are watching the weather forecast very carefully."

The closure will allow the placement of the new beams for a new Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over I-41. Roughly 160,000 drivers use the stretch of roadway daily.

"It's one of the busiest stretches of roadway in the entire state of Wisconsin," Pyritz explained. "We did see, previously this year when we did another 54-hour closure, delays that were about 25 to 30 minutes in length."

WIS 100 (Mayfair Road) will be the primary detour for motorists to use during the closure.

Rebecca Dietmeyer is the General Manager at Urban Beets Cafe and Juicery, located on Mayfair Road. She's hopeful an increase in traffic could help increase sales over the weekend.

"I hope that it's going to help us out,' Dietmeyer said. "This is a pretty busy thoroughfare already so it would be interesting to see how much busier it would get. Hopefully it's not cranky people; it's people looking around and seeing what there is in this area."

Pyritz says drivers planning to make use of the Mayfair Road detour should plan to add at least thirty minutes to their trips.

"A lot happening. Give yourself that extra time and if appropriate, pick a different route to get around and make sure you can still get to where you're going." Pyritz said. "Plan ahead. Bring extra patience. We know there's a lot of exciting things, it's summer in Wisconsin. We want to make sure everybody gets there safely and on time."

Project updates are available here.

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