Commuters in Madison, Wis., are closer to driving on a less congested highway now that the Interstate 94 Badger Interchange project is under way with $43 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds, the Federal Highway Adminstration announced. Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez was joined by Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi and other state and local officials in getting an update on the project, which will improve safety and relieve congestion.
The $43 million I-94 project, which is the second largest ARRA highway project in the state, is fully funded by the Recovery Act and will expand five miles of I-94 from four lanes to six lanes from the interchange at Interstate 39/90 to Highway N. “The Recovery Act is working in Madison and in other communities across America,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “It’s putting people to work and improving the quality of life by making it safer and easier to get around.”
The improvements on I-94 are designed to help meet growing traffic volumes and to fix deteriorating pavement conditions along this major hub. WisDOT estimates that this stretch of highway handles 58,000 vehicles a day, which typically requires six lanes. The project is now in its second phase, which consists of reconstructing the eastbound lanes and bridges, and is scheduled to be completed next year. The westbound lanes and bridges were completed in September.
“This is one of many Recovery Act projects around the country that was on hold for years due to lack of money and now is under way,” Mendez says. “People in Madison will soon have more time to spend with friends and family because these improvements will reduce congestion.” The design for expanding I-94 with additional lanes was completed in 2000, but construction was delayed due to the lack of funds until the Recovery Act was passed.