I-94 closure to start tonight; headaches expected for drivers

CREATED May 16, 2013 - UPDATED: May 17, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - You may have heard the saying there are two seasons here in Wisconsin: winter and road construction. There is a major road project that could cause you major headaches this weekend.

A new culvert has to be installed on I-94 under Rawson Avenue. Crews will close the freeway Friday at 9 p.m., and plan to have it re-opened Sunday morning, just in time before the busy Memorial Day weekend.

Tom Torgersen works in the area and says he already takes the side roads, he'll just have more company on those roads this weekend.

"It will be a little crowded, I guess I'll just have to deal with it," Torgersen said.

The project will close I-94 northbound from 27th Street to College Avenue, and southbound from Rawson to Drexel. The department of transportation suggests you take 27th Street and to leave early.

"Be aware of this closure. If you are coming through some of the peak travel times from 11-4 on Saturday, you're going to experience some delays and backups. If you can accomodate that in your schedule, leave a little bit early," said Ryan Luck with the Department of Transportation.

There will be plenty of detour signs and officers along the construction route.

"We will have key law enforcement agencies at all locations and intersections to keep the traffic flowing," Luck said.

This guy from Chicago says he may avoid the area altogether.

"It's good to know. I won't be coming up to Milwaukee over the weekend," said Mike Lewis.

Luck told Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Jon Byman that the DOT's move to close a freeway for one weekend is designed to avoid longer-term headaches for drivers.

"We only do this when we have significant, heavy construction," explained Luck.

"We used to do it in stages, and have all sorts of operations out there, and we'd have lane restrictions.  This way, we found that if we get the word out, and we can get the contractor in there, and we can sequence our operations...we find that this goes a lot smoother."