Saturday, August 22, 2009

Outstanding Op-Ed Exposing The Coming Destruction Known as Zoo Interchange "Improvements."

The Zoo Interchange rebuilding and expansion is looming as one of the most destructive public expenditures in state history, as this Crossroads Op-Ed explains.

This is the inevitable byproduct of a grossly-flawed planning process run by the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, using $1 million in grant support from the same state transportation department that now wants to wreck a good portion of the County Grounds and the far west side in the name of highway progress.

That $6.35 billion plan, in its entirety, is at this SEWRPC website. Note the defensive presentation it made answering its critics at the "myths" section,


Michael J. Cheaney said...

So now let me see if I have this straight:

The new weight restrictions that were put in place on the bridges in the zoo interchange should remain permanently in place?

Trucks carrying heavy loads will be detoured away from several ramps in the Zoo Interchange because of deterioration in the structures, the state Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

The ramp from northbound I-894/45 to northbound 45 in the main interchange will be restricted to 60,000 pounds.

This forces trucks that are over 30 ton to do one of two things.

1) Detour from the Mitchell interchange up 43/94NB to I-94West and then to 45N in order to bypass the bridge and the weight restriction. OR

2) Take 894NB to 94East and them jump off at 84th Street and then u turn in order to jump back on 94W and continue NB on 45. And those of us who travel that ramp at any time of the day know what kind of issues THAT presents.....

"Southbound Highway 45 to eastbound I-94 will be restricted to 70,000 pounds"

Now this is really not such a big issue because except for the occasional truck coming from the North and going to say Miller/Coors would just be able to detour down Hwy 145 through the Ghetto and continue on his/her merry way.

"Northbound I-894/45 to westbound I-94 will be restricted to 80,000 pounds."

And this presents NO PROBLEM because trucks are not supposed to weigh more than 80,000lbs gross.

So exactly how would you suggest that freight moving from the south gets to the Northside of Milwaukee and the Northern Part of the State if NB 45 is basically cutoff?

And remember the Interstate is built to a higher standard than are the city streets.

And also keep in mind that these detours also increase the cost per mile of the freight being shipped which will result in higher shipping costs, for the company receiving the goods, and a lower net profit for the driver delivering them.

Shipping the goods by rail is not practical, because railroad tracks are not EVERYWHERE a store is...

Dave Reid said...

@MichaelJ Let me see if I can answer this one for Jim. As he has been a promoter of the "Fix it First" concept, I don't know maybe he'd say just fix the bridges. Fix, not expand and redesign, but fix.

James Rowen said...

To MichaelJ:

Dave beat me to it. I had posted a commentary a few days ago on the need to follow the "Fix-it-First" concept in transportation spending.

I guess I should have put the phrase in headline, but here it is:

Michael J. Cheaney said...

Everybody knows that the interchange has outlived it useful life.

There should be a redesign of 94E to 45S. These should be seperated from the on ramp to 94E from hwy 100, and the curve is to tight.

Same with 94W to 45S.

The ramp from 45 to 94E should almost eliminated all together, or moved to the right side. And the ramp from Watertown Plank road should be eliminated all together.

And the on ramp from North Avenue to go SB should really be made longer.

These are just a few things that should be "fixed" IMO

Michael J. Cheaney said...

The problem with the fix it first concept is that it is already being done.

Have you seen the amount of new concrete that has been put down on HWY45 in the last couple of years?

The problem is that whats underneath the pavement needs to be replaced also. The concrete and asphalt and the material underneath the roadbed were never meant to last more than 30 years, and yet somehow here almost 50 have gone by and everybodies response is lets just keep fixing the potholes.


It seems more cost-effective to me to rebuild the interchange, then to just keep filling potholes...