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Downed utility pole closes I-94 near College Ave. for hours

Traffic backs up Tuesday on southbound I-94, which was shut down near W. College Ave. for about five hours after a truck clipped a cable television line, bringing down a utility pole and electrical wires.

Traffic backs up Tuesday on southbound I-94, which was shut down near W. College Ave. for about five hours after a truck clipped a cable television line, bringing down a utility pole and electrical wires. Photo By Mike De Sisti

July 5, 2011

I-94 near W. College Ave. was closed for about five hours Tuesday after a downed utility pole sent wires across the freeway, according to the Milwaukee County sheriff's office.

Deputies closed the freeway in both directions from about 1:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Barry McNulty, a We Energies spokesman, said a dump truck clipped a cable television line in the area, bringing down a utility pole. It also brought down electrical wires attached to the pole.

About 1,000 We Energies customers lost electrical power because of the accident, but service was restored for most of the customers by the time the freeway was reopened, McNulty said.

Repairs were delayed because the work crews had trouble getting through the traffic congestion created by the accident, McNulty said.

To keep the service interruption for the remaining customers affected to a minimum, technicians chose to replace the pole rather than to cut and restring new wires, McNulty said.

Crews also had to inspect the area to make sure no other poles or equipment were damaged, he said.

Northbound I-94 traffic was redirected off the interstate at College Ave. while the freeway segment was closed. Southbound traffic was diverted to westbound I-894.

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