“We are pleased to have reached an agreement,” said WisDOT Secretary Mark Gottlieb. “The settlement includes transit services that will alleviate traffic congestion during construction. The routes will support the department’s Traffic Management Plan for the project, facilitating our commitment to minimize the impacts of construction on travelers, residents and businesses.”
Gottlieb said final signatures are pending. Under the terms, the state will:
Spend up to $11.5 million over four years to provide bus routes aimed at easing traffic congestion. Details on the routes have not yet been developed, but will focus on getting city residents to outer county locations and bringing workers into the city from outer county areas.
Provide $2 million over four years for transit providers to offer additional services to enhance the use of transit to relieve congestion, such as real-time transit route information or public outreach to encourage ridership on the routes.
The terms of the settlement were negotiated in court-sponsored mediation. The suit was filed in 2012 by Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope.
Improvements to the Zoo Interchange arterials are already underway through 2014 so that those routes will be able to efficiently handle diverted and detoured traffic once the core interchange reconstruction begins.
The interchange reconstruction is scheduled to take place from 2015 through 2017. The north leg of the interchange (US 45) is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018.