Contractors this weekend shut down traffic heading through most of the Zoo Interchange to demolish one of the bridges that closed because of safety concerns.
Four ramps on the interchange will be shut down until 5 a.m. Monday. During the closures, joint venture Milwaukee Constructors LLC will tear down and remove the ramp that connected southbound U.S. Highway 45 to eastbound Interstate 94. The joint venture has built three new temporary bridges to replace the ramp and two other failing spans.
The ramp being demolished this weekend has four separate bridge spans, and each must be removed separately, said Ryan Luck, Wisconsin Department of Transportation southeast freeways construction director. The builders must use cranes and cables to support the weight of the bridges before workers cut them from the interchange at both ends. The spans will be lowered to the ground, chipped apart on site and trucked away, he said.
The job will require road closures in four directions: westbound I-94, the westbound I-94 ramp connecting to southbound Interstate 894, northbound Highway 45 and the eastbound I-94 ramp connecting to northbound Highway 45.
After this weekend, Milwaukee Constructors will have only one more bridge to demolish. Weather permitting, Luck said, WisDOT in two weeks will close portions of the interchange to remove the last bridge.