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Daily Archives: September 9, 2021

Work to Widen and Upgrade One of Wisconsin’s Busiest Highways Begins

Work has begun on widening one of the busiest highways in Wisconsin.

The I-43 North-South Freeway provides a link in the southeastern section of the state between the Milwaukee area, Chicago and Green Bay. The 50-year-old freeway has exceeded its design life, says the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

The project, estimated to cost $551.3 million, involves widening 14 miles from four to six lanes between Glendale and Grafton in Milwaukee and Ozaukee counties. Other planned improvements include reconstructing five interchanges and replacing a railroad bridge over the freeway in Glendale.

The freeway handles 49,000 vehicles a day near Grafton to 85,460 vehicles a day near Glendale, leading to “regular and significant congestion,” WisDOT says. That traffic is expected to increase to 65,000 and 112,500, respectively, by 2040.

Along with alleviating congestion, the project is designed to address pavement and structural needs, safety issues, bridge clearances, driver visibility and merging and weaving distances.

The project will also include a diverging diamond interchange at I-43 and WIS 100 and a new interchange at Highland Road.

Work zone preparations began last month. Construction is scheduled to be completed in 2024, according to WisDOT.

A map and schedule of the I-43 North-South Freeway expansion project, in which work zone preparation began in August.Wisconsin DOT

Brent Spence Bridge Emergency Repair, 5 Other Road Projects Win Awards

Six road projects, including the emergency repair of the Brent Spence Bridge after it was damaged in a fiery tractor trailer crash, have won awards from the Mid America Association of Transportation Officials.

The awards are part of the run-up to the America’s Transportation Awards. The winning road projects are as follows:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet — Brent Spence Bridge Emergency Repair Project (Operations Excellence, Small category)

The Indiana Department of Transportation opened the Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge on June 15, 2020, in Martinsville. Replacing a section of four-lane State Road 37, the bridge gives drivers and pedestrians a safe connection to neighborhoods, schools and businesses.Indiana Department of TransportationIndiana Department of Transportation — Grand Valley Boulevard Bridge (Quality of Life/Community Development, Small category—TIE)

Charles Berry Memorial bridge rehab Ohio DOT
The Ohio Department of Transportation’s $27 million rehabilitation project for the Charles Berry Memorial Bridge in Lorain provided needed mechanical updates that increased the bascule bridge’s safety.Ohio Department of TransportationOhio Department of Transportation — Charles Berry Memorial Bascule Bridge Rehabilitation (Quality of Life/Community Development, Medium category)

Turner Diagonal interchange Kansas City
Originally designed as a toll road in the 1960s but toll booths were never installed, the Turner Diagonal Interchange in Kansas City had three miles of obsolete and hazardous ramps. The Kansas Department of Transportation’s $30.3 million project increased safety and economic development.Kansas DOTKansas Department of Transportation — Turner Diagonal Project (Operations Excellence, Medium category)

I-94 South Freeway project Wisconsin DOT
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation began work on a $410.5 million upgrade of I-94 South Freeway that passes through Milwaukee, Racine and Kenosha counties that improved safety and saved time and money by using techniques such as placing ground heaters to control frost so construction could continue in the colder months.Wisconsin DOTWisconsin Department of Transportation — I-94 North South Freeway Project (Operations Excellence, Large category)

I-255 Metro East project Illinois DOT
Interstate 255 in Metro East ranked as one of the worst roads in the state until the Illinois Department of Transportation’s $67 million rehabilitation. The project included bridge repairs, resurfacing, better highway lighting, and guardrail, safety and drainage upgrades.Illinois DOTIllinois Department of Transportation — Remaking I-255 in the Metro East (Best Use of Technology & Innovation, Medium category)

This is the third of four regional contests within the national America’s Transportation Awards competition. The three highest-scoring projects from each regional competition earn a place on a “Top 12” list of projects, which will compete for the Grand Prize – selected by an independent panel of industry judges – and the People’s Choice Award, chosen by the public through online voting.

The top two winners also receive $10,000 cash awards, to be donated to a charity or scholarship of the state DOT’s choosing.

The “Top 12 finalists” vying for the Grand Prize and People’s Choice awards will be announced this month, with online voting for the People’s Choice award beginning at the same time.

The winners of both Grand Prize and People’s Choice awards will be announced in October at the AASHTO Annual Meeting in San Diego.

The awards are sponsored by AASHTO, AAA and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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