A paving crew operating near a bridge and busy highway.

Zoo Interchange – North Leg

Michels Road & Stone, Inc. reconstructed 1.7 miles of Interstate 41 in Wauwatosa, WI, a bustling stretch of urban freeway that serves approximately 144,000 vehicles each day. The multiphase Zoo Interchange project expanded the highway from six to eight lanes and widened on- and off-ramps, adopting a design to accommodate modern traffic movements and account for future traffic volumes. Additional improvements included extended sight distances, high-performance concrete pavement, storm water drainage system improvements, noise pollution mitigation systems, Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) upgrades and expansion, and a new railroad structure spanning the widened freeway.   

To address the challenges of compressed construction schedules, uninterrupted railroad traffic and the congestion of the work zone’s narrow footprint, our project managers proposed revisions to the construction staging plan. These changes accommodated traffic shifts, improved safety and allowed areas of the project site to be available for work sooner. Splitting the stages allowed Michels to progress parts of the project to mitigate potential delay due to the coming winter season.  

The project required more than 200,000 square yards of concrete pavement, 387,000 tons of aggregate, and nearly 457,000 cubic yards of common excavation to create the roadway, eight bridges, six noise walls, 14 retaining walls and 20 sign structures. 

Michels Road & Stone was supported by Michels Construction, which built more than 1,000 drilled shafts ranging from 20 to 70 feet in depth and installed earth retention systems that encompassed more than 600 drilled tieback anchors, 50,000 square feet of wooden lagging and 10,000 yards of poured concrete.

Related Projects