MILWAUKEE — There are some new developments in the ongoing fight over whether to expand I-94 near American Family Field.

On Thursday, the Milwaukee County Board voted against a non-binding resolution what’s called the “fixed at six” option in a close nine to eight vote. Essentially, this would keep I-94 west of downtown three lanes each way. However, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is hoping to keep this remodel to eight lanes.

The project has been in the works for quite some time. Data gathering began in 2012 and now in 2022 meetings and plans are in the works to see what the best option will move forward for the well-used roadway.

The project will span from 70th Street to 16th Street on the East-West Corridor of I-94. While there are still discussions and public forums being held, the plan is to expand to either six or eight lanes. WisDOT said they have a preference of eight lanes to clear congestions in the area that they believe six lanes won’t be able to do.

The stretch of roadway goes past the Veterans Administration complex, American Family Field, Molson Coors Brewery, and the Menomonee Valley businesses, including the Potawatomi Casino.

Along this three and a half miles stretch are a few cemeteries, including the Wood National Cemetery and the Beth Hamedrosh Hagodel Cemetery. However, WisDOT said they will not be impacted in this project.

“WisDOT is committed to no impacts to graves in the cemetery area,” WisDOT Southeast region director Emlynn Grisar said. “There is one proposed residential displacement that is adjacent to the 68th street on-ramp. We will continue to work closely with these stakeholders.”

This stretch of I-94 was originally constructed in the 1960s. WisDOT has created a timeline of this project with work expected to begin in 2025 and continue throughout 2029.

Courtesy: Wisconsin Department of Transportation

While nothing is set in stone just yet, WisDOT may near an answer soon after holding three large public involvement meetings and over 200 smaller meetings and outreach events. WisDOT said they plan to use most of January reviewing and responding to public comments in 2023.

WisDOT has received a lot of public comment on this project. They said based on the public feedback they received, they have:

  • Dropped the double deck option
  • Kept interchanges at 35th and 68th/70th streets
  • Added construction mitigation funding for transit
  • Reduced impact of Stadium Interchange (DDI preferred alternative)
  • Added bike and pedestrian connections in the corridor
  • Piloted a program to pay incentives for hiring city of Milwaukee residents
  • Started a study on WIS 175 north of the stadium

WisDOT is also hoping to make an environmental impact with this project, as they have recently completed an environmental impact study that can be found here.

Anyone can weigh in with their thoughts about the I-94 project directly with WisDOT by clicking here and commenting in the public comments section. All comments received by Jan. 17 will be addressed by WisDOT and the Federal Highway Administration in a future project report.