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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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!

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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 BizTimes.com story and image below …

weilandarticle041213_fullsize_story1

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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.

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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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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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