Milwaukee Avenue Streetscaping Update: Project Starts in August

Here is the update we shared online today, and are hand-delivering to Milwaukee Avenue business and property owners.

Long story short: This long-overdue upgrade to our Main Street is about to begin … and we’re going to do our best to minimize disruptions.

From the letter …

The City of South Milwaukee is moving ahead with a streetscaping project to enhance the look and feel of Milwaukee Avenue. The work will transform our Main Street, with new sidewalks, street lighting, planters, bike racks, trees, traffic signals, benches, and other decorative features. There will also be a limited amount of street repair, and the addition of bicycle lanes to create a spur of the Oak Leaf Trail through downtown.

While this is a significant and positive investment in our city center, the work will bring disruptions to businesses, residents and others who frequent our downtown area. We are committed to reducing those disruptions as much as we can. Open lines of communication will be key.

Check out the schedule in the letter. How will we communicate this?

  • On July 29, we will launch a Milwaukee Avenue Streetscaping page on our website with regularly updated information on construction progress, timelines, and other tools likes parking maps. 
  • We will also be sharing project updates on the city Facebook page, and starting a Facebook group to share information. Look for more information soon.
  • We will also be sharing updates on the SM Works app. If you have not downloaded it yet, please do from the Apple App Store and Google Play.
  • If you would like to receive email updates, please contact Assistant City Administrator Patrick Brever at
  • You can also contact Patrick (414-768-8051) or City Engineer Kyle Vandercar (contact information below) with any questions about the improvements.

Thank you ahead of time for your patience, as we make this significant investment in our city center, one that will help us continue our very real downtown momentum. There is much more to come.

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Traffic Alert: Milwaukee, Columbia Avenue Closures Coming Next Week

Union Pacific continues its work to improve railroad crossings in South Milwaukee, and with that are coming more road closures.

From the city …

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Milwaukee Avenue will be closed to all traffic at the railroad crossing in both directions starting at 6AM on Monday, July 22nd. The crossing is scheduled to reopen on the morning of Wednesday, July 24th. Columbia Avenue will then close at the railroad crossing on Wednesday, July 24th. It is scheduled to reopen on the morning of Friday, July 25th.

Thank you for your patience.

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Beat the Heat: Farmers’ Market Cancelled Due to Extreme Temperatures

A heat advisory kicks in at noon today for southeastern Wisconsin, with temperatures expected to soar into the 90s (and feel like well over 100 degrees on Friday) after the rain moves out.

With that in mind, South Milwaukee Downtown Market leadership has announced they are cancelling the farmers’ market today. Good call.

From checking out Grobschmidt Pool to visiting the South Milwaukee Library or Grobschmidt Senior Center, here are some ways to beat the heat locally … and please check on your neighbors and loved ones!

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Best of Tour: Well Done, Wil-o-Way Grant Gardners!

I was proud to honor the master gardeners behind the beautiful garden at Wil-o-Way Grant, winner of this year’s South Milwaukee Beautification Committee Best of Tour award. Well done!

Here is the proclamation I presented …



          WHEREAS, the South Milwaukee Historical Society held its 11th-annual Garden Tour & Art Fair on June 22, 2019, showcasing five local gardens; and

WHEREAS, the event also featured an artisan fair, food, demonstrations and music at the South Milwaukee Historical Society; and

          WHEREAS, the Garden Tour is a great way to celebrate South Milwaukee’s best outdoor spaces and support the South Milwaukee Historical Society; and

            WHEREAS, each participant in the tour had truly outstanding gardens worthy of recognition;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that I, Mayor Erik Brooks, on behalf of the South Milwaukee Beautification Committee, do hereby award the “Best of Tour” award to Master Gardeners Susan Gresser, Cindy Allen, Chris Marifke, the University of Wisconsin Extension and various other community and youth volunteers for their beautiful garden display at the Wil-O-Way Grant Recreation Center. The demonstration gardens not only have many universally accepted garden styles featured, but also include unique structures and designs not seen in other venues, creating an accessible garden that  constantly evolves and brings gardening to all abled people.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that I, Mayor Erik Brooks, the Beautification Committee and the entire South Milwaukee Common Council do hereby extend our congratulations and thanks to all of the participants who were part of this year’s tour, and offer our sincere appreciation to all of the volunteers who made the 2019 event a success.


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Community Meal This Thursday: Uniting Around Food and Fellowship

I love how this has taken root in South Milwaukee!

Thanks to First Congregational for hosting this monthly event, and a special thanks to the organizations who step up each month to prepare and serve the meal, bringing the community closer together through food and fellowship. 

I’m told 89 guests attended last month, as the South Milwaukee Lions served a delicious meal of burgers, chicken sandwiches, potato salad, macaroni salad, cupcakes and cookies. On July 18, First Congregational will be serving spaghetti and meatballs, tossed salad, garlic bread and ice cream.

Looking ahead for the rest of this year, sponsors include Skyline Catering in August, Masjid Al-Huda in September, South Milwaukee Human Concerns in October, Trinity Lutheran Church in November and Knights of Columbus in December. Thank you, one and all!

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Here is Your Heritage Days Schedule … and it Starts Sunday with the Legion 100th

More details on the entire week of family fun here.

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July 19: Join me at My Next Coffee with the Mayor

It’s time for another Coffee with the Mayor!

Join me from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. this Friday, July 19, at Avenue Coffeehouse, 911 Milwaukee Ave. for an open discussion on what’s happening in South Milwaukee.

There is no set agenda, and pretty much anything is fair game. So bring your questions, comments or concerns and grab a drink while you’re there.

Thanks to Sara and Aaron for hosting!

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