WEAU | Eau Claire, Wisconsin | News, Weather, & Sports

PDM Bridge Awarded Marquette Interchange Project Contract

By: Teresa Moua-Her
By: Teresa Moua-Her

In downtown Milwaukee, the intersection of Interstates 43, 94 and 794 handles a high volume of traffic.
So much so, that the Marquette Interchange will be overhauled.
Yet here in Eau Claire, 250 miles away, a local bridge company has won a contract for the improvement project bringing more jobs to the region for the near future.
If you've ever driven through downtown Milwaukee or further east to the summer fest grounds, you probably know the difficulties of the twists and turns of the Marquette Interchange.
Frank Busalacchi, Wisconsin?s State Secretary of the Department of Transportation said the interchange needs to be fixed.
"...there are a lot of exits to the left and when you get into the interchange there is a lot of helter-skelter people dodging back and forth."
Not only is the interchange confusing, DOT officials say it is out of date, which makes it a very dangerous roadway.
The interchange was designed to carry 150,000 vehicles a day but currently it handles over twice that number.
With the amount of traffic the interchange gets everyday, it needs major improvements.
"...it was getting to the point that it was so deteriorated that we would have probably have to have eliminated truck traffic on the interchange,? Busalacchi said.
All that is soon to change, the interchange is being totally re-designed with safety and traffic efficiency in mind.
That's where Eau Claire's PDM comes in.
PDM Bridge is taking the Marquette Interchange Project as its largest project ever. The project will affect not only Milwaukee but Wisconsin as a whole.
The steel company was awarded the Marquette Interchange contract where it builds steel parts for the project.
John Grzybowski, CEO of PDM Bridge, said "Both Eau Claire and Wausau will be providing steel for the project. "
According to the Wisconsin DOT, the interchange is the gateway to Wisconsin's economy--linking almost one third of the state's freeway traffic to the rest of the country.
With the complete project, PDM would help contribute over $124 million dollars to the state's economy.
And that means more jobs for the Chippewa Valley
Grzybowski said, "It also gives the opportunity to add people and we're anticipating on adding somewhere in the neighborhood of between 15-20 percent."
In Eau Claire that will be about 25 new jobs
Grzybowski also says the hiring process is already underway.
The project has already begun at the plant and will involve approximately 350-400 people.
The $810 million dollar interchange project is expected to be finished by 2008.


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