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Construction of Swan Boulevard is underway

Bridge closure set for Friday, Aug. 16

August 09, 2013 College News - The roadways and intersections that surround us serve as a critical path from the busy highways and intersection that lead to this campus. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has recently completed several projects that will support the traffic flow to and from our organizations once the closure of Watertown Plank Road and US45 interchange occurs, currently scheduled for January 6, 2014. Our attention will now begin to focus on the detour routes available to best access the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.

Swan Boulevard will serve a critical role to detour traffic around the Watertown Plank Road and US45 interchange closure to the north. But, before that can be done safely and efficiently, Swan Boulevard over US45 needs to be rebuilt and reconfigured. The construction schedule begins on Friday evening, August 16, with the closure of the bridge and the southbound lanes of Swan Boulevard at Underwood Parkway. Bridge demolition will occur over two nights and cause a full overnight closure of US 45 north and southbound at Swan Boulevard on August 16 and 17. Northbound Swan Boulevard from Watertown Plank Road will remain open until later this year.

This work will conclude in December to open prior to the closure of the Watertown Plank Road and US45 interchange closure. Once completed, north and southbound traffic on Swan Boulevard will be accessed at the intersection with Innovation Drive and Watertown Plank Road at the entrance to Research Park. A traffic signal will efficiently move traffic through the busy intersection.


During the two-night closure of US45 northbound and southbound, the following detours should be used to get around the closure.

  • From US45 south: Exit on North Avenue west, to Hwy100 south, to Watertown Plank Road east.
  • From US45 north: The exit to Watertown Plank Road will be available
  • Many of the on and off ramps between Burleigh Avenue and Watertown Plank Road will close to traffic.
  • The Zoo Interchange west-to-north and east-to-north ramps will close.

Throughout the duration of the bridge construction, southbound travelers on Swan Boulevard will be rerouted beginning at Underwood Parkway.  Detour onto southbound Menomonee River Parkway to the Harmonee Avenue bridge to Harwood Avenue westbound which becomes Watertown Plank Road.

Swan Boulevard and the new Discovery Parkway, on the UWM campus, will be one of the designated detour routes during the Watertown Plank Road Interchange reconstruction. 

Park & Ride

There will be parking implications at the Watertown Plank Road north and south Park & Ride lots as part of the Swan Boulevard reconstruction. The number of available parking spots has already been reduced in the north lot due to the construction of a temporary salt shed and utility work. The north lot will be closed entirely by August 19. The south lot will be available until November 1, when a temporary Park & Ride lot at Burleigh Street opens.

Recently completed projects surrounding Milwaukee Regional Medical Center

Glenview Avenue – The resurfacing operations from I-94 to Bluemound Road are complete and crews are finalizing the improvements being made to the Bluemound Road and Wisconsin Avenue intersections to ease traffic congestion, increase pedestrian safety and repair the pavement.  The entire roadway will be open on August 19.

Highway 100/Mayfair Road – The widening of Highway 100 from I94 to Watertown Plank Road continues its journey with the completion of two busy intersection projects:

Bluemound Road – The intersection of Bluemound Road and Highway 100 was reconfigured in record time to widen the intersection, allow more turn lanes and to repair and lengthen the railroad tunnel that runs underneath the roadway. 

Watertown Plank Road – The intersection of Watertown Plank Road and Highway 100 shortened its closure time from 10 days to 5 to finish a critical step in returning the intersection to its final configuration.

Additional information about the Zoo interchange project and its impact on MCW and the campus can be found on the College’s Zoo interchange Web page.
© 2014 Medical College of Wisconsin
Page Updated 08/12/2013