A road project meant to set the stage for Milwaukee’s Zoo Interchange reconstruction began with a break Monday.
A crew from Habermehl Electric Inc., Franklin, struck and broke a gas main at South 116th Street and West Greenfield Avenue in West Allis. Sylvia Habermehl, owner of Habermehl Electric, acknowledged her crew hit the main while digging a hole for a temporary traffic signal, but she declined to comment further.
We Energies spokesman Barry McNulty said Monday the break would leave about 70 customers without natural gas service for several hours.
The break was reported to the West Allis Fire Department about 11:45 a.m., said Battalion Chief Chris Reinke. He said We Energies requested the department evacuate residents from an apartment building at 11505 W. Greenfield Ave. No gas was detected inside the apartment building, Reinke said.
Crews turned off the gas flow to the break about 2 p.m.
The break happened on the first day of a lengthy project to repave a portion of Highway 59 from 106th Street to 124th Street in West Allis, said Mike Pyritz, Wisconsin Department of Transportation spokesman. Work on the approximately 1.2-mile stretch is expected to last into November and is designed to ready Highway 59 as an alternate route during construction on the estimated $1.7 billion Zoo Interchange reconstruction.
The estimated $4.7 million Highway 59 project will create bicycle lanes, add left-turn lanes and extend existing turn lanes at 108th, 116th and 124th streets. WisDOT also expects the project to improve traffic signals at multiple intersections and improve access for pedestrians and transit users in the area.