Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Milwaukee's Marquette Interchange - On Time and Under Budget?

Nice job, Milwaukee!

Word on the street is (no pun intended) the reconstruction of the Marquette Interchange, a portal for 300,000 vehicles per day, will wrap up before August 30 -- ahead of schedule!

When this project began in 2004 we were all lamenting about the "two seasons in Wisconsin - winter and construction". But no one is complaining now. We thought it would disrupt the traffic to and through downtown with chaos, but it was at most, only a slight inconvenience. And soon we will be enjoying those right hand exits, keeping pace with every other major city.

According to mchange.org, it cost less than the estimated $810 million.

Interesting tidbit #1:

Milwaukeeans will remember the mural we lost in the process: "The Whaling Wall"

The whale mural adorned the courthouse building since 1997. I have no idea why there was a whale there since whales do not live in the Great Lakes so it never made sense to me. It didn't make sense to this guy either:

"There are no whales in Milwaukee. In the wild, there are no whales within a thousand miles of Milwaukee. There is no aquarium here (well, that's due to change this year with the opening of the new Discovery World building, which will feature a modest aquarium.) The whale mural, basically, has jack all to do with this town."

He's talking about the new Discovery World that recently opened, but I digress....

Interesting tidbit #2: (actually a cluster of tidbits)
  • The new Marquette Interchange required six new acres of land or air rights.
  • The project returned six other acres of excess property.
  • Only one residential removal was done.

Pretty sweet deal huh? I'm impressed.

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