WisDOT: Milwaukee has a problem with highway congestion

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, March 11, 2016

Truckers who find driving through Milwaukee a struggle may not be imagining it. New data released by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation reveals nine of 20 Milwaukee freeway segments are congested to the point where motorists’ trips are twice as long during peak travel times.

WisDOT’s “Travel Time Reliability and Delay” report also shows that in two segments, the travel time increase during peak hours was threefold when compared with uncongested conditions.

Interstate 894 westbound from the Hale Interchange to the Zoo Interchange had drivers on the road for 17 minutes in the morning compared with a five-minute trip during off-peak hours. On U.S. 45 southbound from Waukesha County line to the Zoo Interchange, travel time was 34 minutes in the afternoon and 10 minutes without congestion.

In response to the report, WisDOT is proposing improvements on two high-congestion segments in Milwaukee: I-94 between the Marquette Interchange and the Zoo Interchange, and I-43 between Glendale and Grafton.

Of the 28 urban highway segments monitored, eight were found to have a reliable range in travel time, seven were moderately unreliable, and 13 were considered unreliable.

Madison freeway travel times fared better. Of the eight Madison segments in the report, six were discovered to have a reliable planning time index and two were found to be unreliable. Both unreliable segments were on U.S. 12.

Congestion in Wisconsin cost motorists 12.4 million hours of delay in a one-year period. Total cost for congestion was $387 million. Between the 2014 fall quarter and 2015 fall quarter, hours of delay increased by nearly 3 million hours.

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