On Wednesday, I attended a PIM for the upcoming Hoan Bridge and Lake Interchange redecking.
The maps they had up are here:http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/projects/seregion/794hoan/public.htm
The meeting was held in the SEWRPC building in downtown which lies in the shadow of the Marquette Interchange on St. Paul Ave. Damn that thing looks cool from underneath, too.
Starting next fall, WisDOT will redeck the Hoan Bridge completely. They're taking it down to the steel structure. They'll do southbound first, be done by Summerfest 2014 then do the northbound lanes after festival season.
WisDOT will be employing a zipper lane during construction with two lanes in the direction of commuter travel, one against. That should be pretty cool. They will also construct a temporary ramp on the ground by Lincoln Memorial Drive so traffic can bypass closed bridges in the Lake Interchange; essentially, traffic will exit at Lincoln Memorial and use a temporary ramp to connect to the existing WB entrance ramp. If you think that WB corner on 794 is tight now, it's got nothing on this temporary setup we'll have.
The Lake Interchange and all the ramps east of the river will be resurfaced while the entrance/exit ramps to/from Jackson & Van Buren Streets will be completely replaced with new bridges.
So that's what's happening starting next year, but a little further on the horizon there might be some interesting stuff going on there. I showed the redesign I made in the fictional thread to some engineers, but before I did, there were a couple other people there pitching another good idea on what to do with Lake Interchange. They had a nice rendering of Lincoln Memorial Drive continuing south between the Hoan Bridge ramps and connecting to Harbor Drive. From there, they proposed that a road continue west over the Milwaukee River via an abandoned railroad r/w and tie into Florida Street in the Walker's Point neighborhood. Well I thought that was pretty awesome and worked it into my Lake Interchange concept.
So you don't have to hunt for it in the redesigning interchanges thread, here it is:
As for my proposal, the SEWRPC engineers I talked to were reasonably impressed. Apparently they are kicking around some similar ideas regarding having a single WB entrance/EB exit east of the river rather than two. They liked how I moved all the ramps to the right side. I get the impression that's something they might not be doing for Jackson/Van Buren Streets since they are rebuilding them completely as-is next year.
Unless I misunderstood, there seems to be talk from the city of eliminating the ramps between Lincoln Memorial Drive and the Hoan Bridge in their ultimate design. That seems a tad foolish to me as Lincoln Memorial Drive functions very well as an artery for east side neighborhoods.
Regardless, it seems a lot of people are really high on the idea of locating Milwaukee's next great skyscraper at the junction of Lincoln Memorial Drive and Clybourn Avenue. So this Lake Interchange land that would get freed up by a redesign won't sit vacant for years like the Park East land.