Drexel interchange at I-94 rolls ahead

Published on: 5/5/2010

A new I-94 interchange at Drexel Ave. in Oak Creek - believed to be the first interchange added since I-94 was constructed - will be built, state Rep. Mark Honadel (R-South Milwaukee) said Wednesday.

Honadel said a Wisconsin Department of Transportation official told him Wednesday that the department will soon begin the process of acquiring land that will be needed for the interchange, which would be built in 2012.

"I am just stoked up to no end because it's going to be good for the region," he said. "The potential is awesome."

The DOT had said that if half the cost of the interchange would be covered by local money, it would add the interchange to its massive I-94 North-South Freeway Project. The City of Oak Creek, which is contributing the bulk of the local money, and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, which has a large office complex in neighboring Franklin, had already pledged funds.

Then on Saturday, the Franklin Common Council committed the final $500,000 that was needed for the interchange and related work on S. 27th St.

DOT spokesman Reggie Newson confirmed Wednesday that the DOT has added the Drexel interchange to its I-94 work plan and confirmed that construction is planned for 2012.

The DOT estimates the total cost at $12.9 million.

Honadel said he concurred with state Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale), who represents Franklin, that the interchange could lead to billions of dollars in business development. He said the potential exists for one employer alone to bring 1,000 jobs to the area.

"You just don't get an interchange every day of the week," Honadel said. "Every developer will tell you that it's the gold mine for development - access."