I am sure South Milwaukee Blog was the reason they’re looking at lighting the Hoan Bridge arch
Check out the BizTimes.com story and image below …
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Some key points:
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.
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.
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.
I’ll keep you posted … and, as always, thanks for your patience during the construction.
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:
Your patience is appreciated. I’ll keep you posted.
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.
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.
The 17th Avenue and Parkway Drive construction project is nearing the home stretch.
Check out a letter updating area residents here. From it:
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.
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.
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.
A Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission panel has formally backed a plan to extend the Lake Parkway from Edgerton Avenue to Highway 100.
Now, the hard work starts: securing the political will, and money, to actually get the $207 million roadway built. It probably won’t happen until at least 2022, and probably longer.
But at least it’s on the drawing board — and I thank County Supervisor Pat Jursik and others for leading the charge to get us this far.
I also credit the SEWRPC panel in using the passage of this plan as an opportunity to call for a more sustainable solution to transit funding. The Lake Parkway should be just one part of a comprehensive transportation plan for the region. Mass and bike transit must be others — giving commuters a variety of transportation options that involve not just cars.
To quote Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and others, the Department of Transportation is too often the Department of Roads.
Absolutely, let’s build new roads, and fix old ones. But let’s also not neglect the other elements necessary for a strong, and diversified, approach to getting people from point A to point B.
By my count, more than 200 people attended Wednesday’s public meeting about the proposed Lake Parkway extension at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center.
It was a good meeting — and answered some of the most commonly asked questions about the project. Of course, more details will come if and when this project advances beyond the planning stages and into engineering and ultimately construction.
It’s a process that will “optimistically” take at least 10 years, according to the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission — and more than likely 15 or more. So don’t expect to see Highway 794 go beyond Edgerton Avenue anytime soon.
That said, it’s a worthy project and worthy of continued debate. So I credit Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik and other local leaders for driving this, even if it will soon get much harder as this project advances beyond the drawing board and on to the formal regional transportation plan.
You can learn more about the $207 millions extension plan here. Among the local impacts mentioned at Wednesday’s meeting:
Of course, I’d like to know what you think of this project. Post your comments below!
(I also wanted to share a letter of opposition from Michael Timm, a Cudahy resident and former editor of the Bay View Compass, that found its way to my email. While I support this project, Mr. Timm raises some good points against it. Food for thought …)
Update: Here is a detailed story on the extension plan from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The momentum continues for the potential extension of Highway 794 (the Lake Parkway) to Highway 100 and perhaps beyond.
The topic is the subject of a public hearing and information meeting on Wednesday at the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center. The event runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and will give citizens a chance to weigh in on whether or not the project should be put on the regional transportation plan.
Check out my previous post on this topic to learn more.
I hope to see you there!