Reinbold: Marquette Interchange Madness Begins
Don Reinbold is promising to make every effort "keep downtown open for business" as he embarks on the $810 million reconstruction of the Marquette Interchange, the largest public works project in Wisconsin's history. Reinbold, director of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation's Marquette Interchange team, says two lanes of traffic will be open in all directions at all times during the reconstruction, which won't be completed until 2008. Furthermore, the state will launch a new Web site in September to enable commuters and businesses to plot their destinations and find alternative routes to avoid roadblocks.
However, Reinbold is quick to acknowledge that the project is going to disrupt commerce and lifestyles throughout southeastern Wisconsin. After all, about 300,000 vehicles use the Marquette Interchange every day - double its designed capacity. The interchange is crumbling and needs to be replaced. Reinbold says the new interchange will last longer than the original, will move traffic better and will be safer for motorists. Years from now, Reinbold may look back at the Marquette Interchange as "his baby." For the foreseeable future, however, the project will likely be the source of longer commutes, detours, traffic jams and even road rage.
Reinbold discussed the Marquette Interchange project in a recent interview with Small Business Times reporter Andrew Weiland.