Feds to Pay for Half of $810M Marquette Interchange Project

Sat February 28, 2004 - Midwest Edition

MILWAUKEE (AP) The federal government will likely pay more than half the cost of rebuilding the Marquette Interchange — approximately $444 million of the $810-million job, U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta said.

“For us, it’s a high-priority project, and we want to make sure it’s done on time and on budget,” said Mineta, in Milwaukee on Feb. 9.

State officials have been vague until now about how much federal money would come for the rebuilding of Wisconsin’s largest freeway interchange. Preliminary work starts this spring and is expected to last from 2005 through 2008.

State Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi said last March that he hoped to get $300 million in federal money in the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, 2003.

But the state’s congressional delegation persuaded him to cut that request to $150 million, and he said he would be happy with $75 million.

Federal highway officials have said they will monitor the Milwaukee construction to guard against cost overruns, part of new federal rules adopted for so-called “megaprojects” after huge cost overruns on Boston’s “Big Dig” project, Busalacchi said.