Hoan Bridge median 'zipper' delayed for early commute

CREATED May 6, 2014 - UPDATED: May 7, 2014

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MILWAUKEE - You could call it a "zipper mishap." A construction lane divider on the Hoan Bridge was not in position for the morning commute, and that caused a nasty traffic jam.


The Department of Transportation is apologizing for what happened during the commute M from Bay View to downtown.

"We try our very best," says DOT spokesman Michael Pyritz. "People do appreciate that we are getting that second lane open on a daily basis. When there is a breakdown or an accident, there is only so much we can do."

What looks like a giant zipper is supposed to move the median barrier so there are two lanes heading toward downtown in the morning - but the zipper didn't zip. Traffic slowed down for miles.

"It does highlight the fact of what would have happened if [we] only had one lane in each direction during those busy periods," says Pyritz.

Early Tuesday morning, Pyritz said there were delays in pouring a new section of concrete bridge deck that had to completed before the median barrier could be moved to the morning commute position.

“The concrete pump truck was not the cause of the delay with the zipper and the creation of morning traffic delays," Potratz Concrete Pumping South said in a statement e-mailed to TODAY'S TMJ4.  
"There was an issue with the concrete mix that made it unpumpable. We had a stand-by concrete pump ready to resume within minutes of the issue. There was an exceptionally long delay in getting concrete back to the site, which we do not supply, thus starting a chain of events that caused the morning traffic issues."