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Who is responsible for cleaning the litter along the interstates?

Issue: A reader asked that question, referring to the condition of Interstates 94 and 894.

“It looks terrible,” he said.

Status: The state is responsible for the cleanup and contracts with the counties, said DOT spokesman Brian DeNeve. Because of budget constraints, he said the cleanup is done just once a year.

“The best guess for the work being done this year would be the end of March or the beginning of April, depending on snow,” DeNeve said. “The exceptions to the annual schedule would be if there was a special cleanup needed.”

On many interstate sections, the state also has an Adopt-A-Highway program in which groups can apply to take on litter cleanup more frequently, as well as implement beautification. The state works with groups to optimize safety. Examples include providing safety vests and signs.

However, interstates in Milwaukee County are not considered safe enough for groups to participate because of the volume and speed of traffic. Groups can perform the same service for other state roadways within Milwaukee County that the DOT considers safer.

For more information about the Adopt-A-Highway possibilities locally, visit

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