Marquette Interchange Rehabilitation

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

The Marquette Interchange is a major, high-volume roadway in the Milwaukee area, carrying more than 300,000 vehicles per day throughout the region. The interchange serves as the primary route from Chicago to Minneapolis. At the time of its original construction in 2008, it was the largest interchange project in the state of Wisconsin.

Michael Baker provided preliminary and final structure design and construction staging services for this rehabilitation project as a planned maintenance project to prevent possible deterioration of the deck surfaces and prolong major reconstruction.

We worked with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) to review a study, performed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, on four different types of overlay treatments before selecting a polyester polymer concrete (PPC) overlay system, which would minimize disruptions to the public and provide a long-lasting protective barrier on the 30 bridge decks throughout the interchange.

PPC offers several advantages, including highly effective crack sealing, long-lasting performance, fast cure times and an ability to be placed at low temperatures. Using its effective crack sealing, PPC overlays were used on 30 bridges in the core of the interchange and will ensure that the bridges reach their 75‐year minimum anticipated life span.

Traffic staging through the interchange was a complex challenge which required detailed engineering to keep traffic flowing smoothly to and through downtown Milwaukee. Traffic staging was coordinated closely with local stakeholders, WisDOT, and adjacent projects, and much of the PPC construction was done during nighttime hours to further minimize disruption. The fast‐set nature of the overlay product lends itself to overnight closures, allowing the existing bridge deck to be milled, prepped and overlaid over just a few nights.


“Polyester polymer concrete (PPC) overlays are common in some areas of the country, but prior to this project, it had only been utilized once in Wisconsin. With the completion of the PPC overlays on the Marquette Interchange, this type of overlay is being investigated for use on future projects.”

Lindsay K.
Project Manager

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