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Lakeshore traffic tied in new knots by Hoan Bridge resurfacing

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Commuters along the lakeshore are beginning to discover why the on-ramp from the south end of Lincoln Memorial Drive onto I-794 eastbound was closed last November. It was promptly torn down, and now a temporary paved route briefly touches the ground where it used to be, for westbound traffic coming from Bayview and headed toward Madison, I-94 east, or I-43.

The repaving of the Hoan Bridge is slated to last two years, and while it hasn't happened yet, eventuall the state Department of Transportation projects that only three lanes of traffice will be open, which will shift from two lanes northbound (technically west) in the morning to two lanes southbound (east) in the afternoon, conforming to the direction of heavier rush hour traffic.

Westbound traffic from Lincoln Memorial Drive, whether entering on the remaining ramps, or coming from the bridge, is now funneled down to a single lane, before expanding to the normal lane options as cars approach the Marquette Interchange.

When that interchange was rebuilt 2004-2005, some odd bits of freeway just east of construction remained in place, although not carrying any traffic, built to connect to lanes that no longer existed. In conjunction with the Hoan Bridge resurfacing, the remaining elevated freeway sections will also be rebuilt.

Its unusual for a new construction project to begin with the winter. Milwaukee commuters are used to the rule, Milwaukee has two seasons, winter and construction. But the good news is, North 27th Street from St. Paul to Highland is now clear of all lane closures, with new concrete carrying traffic in both north and south directions.

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