The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports one of the newest ramps constructed in the recently-reconstructed Marquette Interchange, the one from Wisconsin Ave./11th St. to I-43 South, was closed today after cracks were found in a vertical support pier that is inadequately designed to handle the load. HNTB, the design firm on the interchange rebuild, will be taking financial responsibility for fixing the 2-year-old structure.
The DOT said that inspections on the other piers in the Marquette show no signs of problems. Perhaps an independent engineering review of HNTB’s designs is in order.
That ramp placement was one of the last things decided upon when the DOT designed the reconstruction of the interchange. Originally, the DOT wanted to put that entrance on 11th and Tory Hill. I’m not going to claim credit (or blame) for having that entrance moved to Wisconsin, but at one of the design presentations (in 2003), I expressed concern over that placement because of the grade required to get from ground level to the High Rise Bridge, especially with metering planned for the ramp, and especially during winter.