DOT spokesperson explains freeway closure from Chopper 4

CREATED Jul 16, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - It could get pretty crowded on Greenfield Avenue in front of Lee's Dairy Treat stand.

Detoured traffic might just bring owner Danette Janik a few more customers.
"The season hasn't been the greatest start with the weather, so I'm kind of hoping," Janik told TODAY'S TMJ4 reporter Tom Murray.
Greenfield Avenue is one of the main detour routes for this weekend's rare full freeway closure related to the Zoo Interchange project.
Mike Pyritz, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, accepted an invitation from TODAY'S TMJ4 to go up in Chopper 4 to explain what the state aims to accomplish.
"Reconstructing of the Zoo Interchange is one of the very largest public works projects undertaken in this state's history," Pyritz said during the aerial tour.
An existing Highway 100 overpass will come down.
"You can see the west span that's remaining on Highway 100," Pyritz explained.  "We will be demolishing that span, taking it down during the course of the closure."
Workers are also preparing to install a new Union Pacific Railroad bridge.
"That's where we will be placing the steel that will support the railroad bridge," Pyritz described.  "You can see a number of cranes that are already staged for the work that will be going on."
It is expected to be a well-choreographed, round-the-clock operation for up to 54 hours starting late Friday night.
"The crews are going to be changing shifts to make sure we keep fresh people in there and they get to keep working very aggressively," Pyritz said.