WisDOT, community celebrate completion of Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee County

WisDOT delivers on Gov. Evers' promise to finish Zoo Interchange

Release date: November 9, 2023

Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) Secretary Craig Thompson today joined federal, state and local leaders in the city of Wauwatosa to celebrate finishing the North Leg of the Zoo Interchange. Reaching this major milestone also signifies the overall completion of the entire Zoo Interchange project in Milwaukee County. The entire Zoo Interchange project finished $200 million under budget.

“In 2019, Governor Evers made a promise to finish the North Leg of the Zoo Interchange, so we rolled up our sleeves and went to work," WisDOT Secretary Thompson said. “We kept our promise and I am extremely proud to stand here today with community leaders to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime achievement. Together we are delivering safe and reliable access to neighborhoods and businesses, and providing quality infrastructure to efficiently move goods and services to reach all corners of Wisconsin."

As one of the busiest interchanges in the state, the Zoo Interchange is a critical hub for commerce and tourism throughout Wisconsin. There are about 108,000 jobs located within two miles of the Zoo Interchange. It is the main access route to local manufacturers and it connects Milwaukee to the Fox Valley industrial region. In addition, more than 20,000 trucks a day travel this section of highway carrying more than $20 billion in freight each year.

“We have a responsibility to maintain and enhance our roads and highways throughout Milwaukee County. That's why I'm pleased to see the final leg of the State of Wisconsin's Zoo Interchange project cross the finish line to begin serving our residents, commuters, and visitors," Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley said. “Now that the Zoo Interchange is complete, we can begin to realize the full economic impact and quality-of-life benefits that this project will deliver for our community."

“Wauwatosa residents and business owners have been patient during the long construction period. We're all elated that the Zoo Interchange North Leg has been completed, just in time for the holiday season. I-41 is essential to the highway system in Milwaukee County and throughout southeastern Wisconsin," Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride said.

The North Leg is the final segment to complete the Zoo Interchange. Construction of this North Leg segment started in early 2021 and will be completed in November 2023. This 1.7-mile reconstruction project expanded I-41 to eight lanes from Swan Boulevard to Burleigh Street in Wauwatosa. The project reconstructed the Burleigh Street and North Avenue interchanges, and built a new bridge for the Union Pacific Railroad as well as replaced bridges at Mayfair Road/WIS 100; North Avenue and Meinecke Street. In addition, crews built several retaining walls and noise barriers along the interstate corridor.

For more information, contact:

WisDOT Office of Public Affairs
(608) 266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov