Category Archives: Transportation

Hoan Headaches Start

And so it begins …

Check out Hoan Bridge project update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation here.

In early November, work will begin in preparation for the I-794 Lake Freeway / Hoan Bridge Project. This work includes improving local intersections and building ramps and crossovers to prepare for construction. As part of this work, the I-794 East exit to Lincoln Memorial Drive will close from early November 2013 until Fall 2015. Motorists are advised to take the Jackson / Van Buren Street exit to Michigan Street and travel east to Lincoln Memorial Drive. The Lincoln Memorial Drive southbound entrance ramp to I-794 East (Southbound) will also close during this time. Motorists should utilize the Broadway Street entrance ramp to access I-794 East (Southbound). In late 2013 / early 2014 additional traffic changes will take place. This will include lane restrictions and additional ramp closures. 

Check out some more project details, and here is a project newsletter.

And here is a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story. From it:

By the week of Nov. 4, though, work will ramp up with Lake Interchange closures, including the eastbound I-794 exit to Lincoln Memorial Drive and the southbound entrance to the Hoan Bridge.

In late December, the bulk of the $172.2 million construction project will commence, including redecking of the Hoan Bridge as well as a complete reconstruction of I-794 from the Milwaukee River to Milwaukee St., including the Jackson St. and Van Buren St. ramps.

Roads on the Lake Interchange also will be resurfaced with two inches of concrete. First, the eastbound lanes of I-794 and the southbound lanes of the Hoan Bridge will close, shifting all traffic to the other halves of the structures. In about a year, the scenario will flip, with westbound I-794 and northbound Hoan Bridge lanes closing for construction.

Carolynn Gellings, the project manager, said the state anticipates reopening I-794 completely by Labor Day 2015 and the Hoan Bridge by December 2014. 

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Hoan Headaches Start Next Month

Just when you thought it was getting a bit easier to commute to downtown Milwaukee … 

Now comes word that the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project starts next month. 

Oak Creek Patch has the story. 

And here is more information from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 

I’ll keep you posted. And be patient. 

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Filed under Construction, South Milwaukee, Transportation

Commuting Note: You Can Now Go 50 MPH (Legally) On Lake Parkway

For those who commute to points north and west from South Milwaukee, people like me, this is big news …

You can now travel 50 mph (legally) on the Lake Parkway.

I say “legally” because few actually followed the posted 40 mph speed limit (including me, I must admit).

New signs were posted Tuesday.

Check out coverage from Fox 6 … and post your comments below!


Filed under South Milwaukee, Transportation

Lights On The Hoan Bridge? Love It!

They listened!

I am sure South Milwaukee Blog was the reason they’re looking at lighting the Hoan Bridge arch :)

Check out the story and image below …



Filed under Construction, Transportation

Another Step Taken In Extending 794

The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission added the extension of the Lake Parkway to the Year 2035 Regional Transportation Plan, unanimously approving the six-mile project at its meeting Wednesday.

Check out the press release from Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik, a champion of this project, and coverage from Oak Creek Patch.

Jursik’s statement:

An extended Lake Parkway will provide the necessary transportation infrastructure to promote economic development in Milwaukee County’s South Shore and around the Port of Milwaukee and General Mitchell International Airport.  We are part of the increasingly powerful lake corridor mega-region that stretches from Gary, Indiana through Chicago, Illinois to Ozaukee County, Wisconsin.  I call upon State elected officials to fund this important corridor project.

Indeed, that is the hardest part about this important initiative. I’ll keep you posted.


Filed under Construction, Milwaukee County, Transportation

South Milwaukee City Council Recap: Grant Park Plaza, Spirits, Milwaukee Streetcar

Catching up on some news from last week’s South Milwaukee City Council meeting …

The council voted 8-0 to approve a new certified survey map and amendments to the development agreement for Grant Park Plaza, allowing the owners of the strip mall to separate the property into two parcels. Doing so will help the owners sell pieces of the development – including the building housing Pick ‘n Save – to individual buyers. I supported this because a sale will relieve pressure on the owners’ finances, and hopefully it will spur improvements to the center’s too-vacant center section.

Grant Park Plaza needs investment, and it’s pretty clear that the current owners are struggling to make that investment. Maybe new owners can. That can only be good for South Milwaukee.

The council also voted 8-0 to form a “Chapter 68 Appeals Committee” to hear an appeal by Ed Abrams, owner of Spirits Bar & Grill, seeking a variance from the city’s sprinkling ordinance. As you know, Spirits suffered a major fire in May, and Abrams is looking to rebuild. However, city ordinances are clear: The rebuilt establishment must have an automatic sprinkling system. Abrams puts that bill at close to $50,000 … and he wants an exception so he can proceed without it.

The council decided to form a three-person committee to hear the appeal and other non-zoning ordinance appeals that may arise going forward, removing politics from the equation. The committee consists of the council president, city administrator and city engineer, with the city clerk as an alternate. They meet Oct. 15 to hear the Spirits case. I’ll keep you posted.

The council also voted 5-3 to approve a resolution stating that the South Milwaukee City Council is opposed to the Milwaukee Streetcar project, if it requires funding from We Energies ratepayers to pay for utility relocation. We joined West Allis in passing this resolution first suggested, in writing, by Milwaukee Ald. Bob Donovan, a vocal critical of the Streetcar.

I was one of three “no” votes. Why? I think this vote was way too premature, and unnecessary.

There are too many outstanding questions around this project, especially around the utility relocation funding issue, and we have no business weighing in on this until we know more facts.

Will ratepayers be on the hook for the relocation? Will Milwaukee taxpayers pay the bill? Will both? And if it’s both, how much will people have to pay? Pennies? Dollars? More? And will the project even require relocation of utilities in the end? Those are just a few of the questions I have before I’m ready to weigh in on a resolution like the one we passed last week.

We acted too quickly, and, in doing so, the council made a bigger statement against investing in rail as part of the region’s transportation system. It was the wrong statement.

I support rail as part of our transportation infrastructure — in that way, making the Milwaukee area like every other major metropolitan area in the country.

We need to step up our investment in a wide array of transportation options. Of course, that includes roads. But it also includes our struggling bus system and rail.

It’s an economic development issue for me. I support a way to more easily get people workers to jobs. I support a way to help the Milwaukee area better compete with other communities for employees and employers who are looking for a well-balanced approach to transportation. I support that balance.

Unfortunately, the debate on projects like the Streetcar too often becomes, “I’ll never ride it, so I don’t want to pay for it.” I understand the concerns, but the argument can’t end there.

You may never ride the Streetcar. I may never ride the streetcar. But thousands (tens of thousands?) of people likely will, including young professionals and families who already live here or are looking to move to the region – those who are much less tied to their cars than “older” folks like me. Moreover, the companies that hire these workers want to see communities commit to projects like this.

We should do the same … and not stand in the way with resolutions like we passed last week.

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Filed under City Council, Transportation

Nicholson/Pennsylvania Project Update: Widened Road Expected To Reopen In Mid-October

A widened Nicholson/Pennsylvania is expected to reopen in mid-October.

That’s according to an update provided by our city engineer at Tuesday’s Public Works & Public Property Committee meeting.

The storm sewers are in, as is the retention pond, and rough grading is now complete. Still to go are curb, gutter, asphalt binder, sidewalk/concrete driveways, topsoil/lawns, asphalt surface, asphalt driveways and, finally, pavement marking.

I’ll keep you posted on the project, which will see the stretch of Nicholson/Pennsylvania between College and Rawson Avenues widened to four lanes.

Check out a previous post on the project here.

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Patience, Please: Nicholson/Pennsylvania Widening Project Begins Tuesday

Be sure to post in the poll on the right side of this page!

The long-discussed Pennsylvania/Nicholson Avenue widening is now underway … and it won’t be done until early October.

In the meantime, your patience is appreciated.

Learn more in this letter shared by the city and in these notes shared by the project’s engineer.

Some key points:

  • The road officially closes Tuesday, and it will be closed to through traffic for the entire length of the project.
  • Police will enforce the through-traffic closure, so be advised.
  • Howell Avenue will be the official posted detour, but there are obviously other options, especially for local traffic. This includes 17th Avenue/Parkway Drive, which was the subject of a repaving project completed over the weekend.

The contact for construction-related information is Bret Swenson, project leader for Community Engineering & Building Services. He can be reached at 414-313-5940. South Milwaukee City Engineer Kyle Vandercar can answer questions about project design, and you can reach him at 762-2222.

Of course, you can also let me know of an issues as well.

Safe travels!


Filed under Construction, Transportation

Parkway Drive/17th Avenue Update: Final Paving This Week

Here is the latest update from the city engineer on the Parkway Drive/17th Avenue work.

The big news: The final surface asphalt will be laid late Wednesday and Thursday nights, so the project will be done in time to accomodate spillover traffic from Pennsylvania/Nicholson, which closes Tuesday for upwards of three months to accomodate the widening project.

Of course, please be patient during this work and consider alternate routes. I’ll keep you posted.

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Get Ready: Pennsylvania/Nicholson Project Starts June 26

The long-planned widening of Pennsylvania/Nicholson Avenue between College and Rawson Avenues begins on June 26.

That means the road will be closed to through traffic starting at that point … so please plan an alternate route.

Construction will last until early October.

Learn more in this letter sent to area residents and in this Oak Creek Patch story.

I’ll keep you posted … and, as always, thanks for your patience during the construction.


Filed under Construction, Transportation

Parkway Drive/17th Avenue Construction Update

Work on Parkway Drive and 17th Avenue will take a little longer than expected.

Here is the most recent update being mailed to area residents. Among the highlights:

  • Pavement, removal and grading will continue north the week of May 21, and additional segments may be paved; but we anticipate gravel surface from Pine to Hemlock through the Memorial Day weekend.
  • Sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and watermain repairs/upgrades on the northerly portion of the job have taken longer than anticipated, but we expect the entire project to be substantially complete by mid-June.

Your patience is appreciated. I’ll keep you posted.

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County Board Committee Backs 794 Extension

A key Milwaukee County Board committee on Wednesday approved a resolution advancing plans to extend the Lake Parkway (Highway 794) to Ryan Road in Oak Creek.

The resolution passed by the Transportation, Public Works & Transit Committee calls for the project to be added to the regional transportation plan, making it eligible for federal funding and getting the project closer to the preliminary engineering stage — even if it still may be 10 to 15 years before a shovel gets in the ground.

South Shore Supervisor Patricia Jursik co-sponsored the resolution and has been a leader on this project. Check out the press release here.

In other news out of that county committee, the panel declined to act on a request by Sheriff David Clarke to rent storage space at the former home to the 440th Air Refueling Wing near Mitchell International Airport.

See the Journal Sentinel story here. From it:

The move was criticized as an unnecessary and ill-advised expansion of the sheriff’s office at a time of tight budgets. Clarke wants to store gear for his bomb squad, SWAT team, canine unit, emergency services, boat patrol and dive rescue unit in space at the 440th, now county property and renamed MKE Regional Business Park.

“This is the wrong time for the sheriff to start spreading out instead of consolidating,” said Supervisor Patricia Jursik, who also faulted Clarke for not appearing personally before the committee.

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Mitchell Interchange Construction Changes Will Impact South Shore Motorists

The ongoing work on Interstate 94 and 43 features a change effective Saturday sure to be felt by those heading to South Milwaukee from points north.

Motorists heading south on 94/43 and looking to exit at Layton Avenue, the Airport Spur or College Avenue will now have to exit onto a “collector” ramp with exits to all three of those roadways. Learn more in this Wisconsin Department of Transportation document.

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Construction Update: 17th Avenue/Parkway Drive

The 17th Avenue and Parkway Drive construction project is nearing the home stretch.

Check out a letter updating area residents here. From it:

  • The project actually began in December and continued during the warm weather in March.
  • Spot sidewalk work was the priority this past week.
  • The storm and sanitary sewer upgrades should be complete by May 11.
  • Pavement rehabilitation work is expected to be substantially complete by June 1. Additional driveway approach work can also be done at a cost to homeowners.

I’ll keep you posted on this project in coming weeks.

Don’t forget that this is just the first of two major Fourth District road projects this summer. The Pennsylvania/Nicholson Avenue widening project is expected to begin in July and continue into September.

Your patience is appreciated as the city continues to make necessary and overdue investments in its infrastructure.

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Hoan Bridge Info Meeting Wednesday

Want to learn more about the upcoming reconstruction of the Hoan Bridge?

Then stop by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Milwaukee office (1001 W. St. Paul Ave.) from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday for an informational meeting focused on the scope of closures during the project.

Learn more in this Milwaukee Journal Sentinel item and in this public notice, which provides this timeline for the project …

The design process continues until spring 2013. Construction is slated for fall 2013 through spring 2016, with bridge painting possibly extending through 2016 or beyond.  

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