MADISON, Wis. (WTAQ) - Governor Jim Doyle says he’s not to blame for the bridge problems at the Milwaukee Zoo freeway interchange. He said a rebuilding of the interchange fell down the priority list before he was elected in 2002, and budget problems prevented his efforts to speed it up. That work has still not begun – and the Highway 45 freeway bridge at the Zoo Interchange was closed for 2 months last Friday.
Republicans and others have pointed their fingers at the Democrat Doyle, for using $1.3 billion in gas tax revenues to cover other parts of the state budget. But most of the money has been paid back, and the shortfall is now just over $300 million.
Meanwhile, the person in charge of re-building Milwaukee’s downtown Marquette Interchange a few years ago told the Journal Sentinel the Zoo Interchange was supposed to rebuilt right after the Marquette was done. But state DOT officials said the plan all along was to refurbish Interstate 94 from Milwaukee to the Illinois line first. That project began last year, while crack filling began last January on the Highway 45 freeway bridge at the Zoo interchange. Those cracks still got worse, and that’s why the bridge was closed last week, causing traffic headaches throughout Metro Milwaukee.