Bridge to the Past: Honoring a Community Icon


There is an effort underway at the state Capitol to rename the beautiful bridge at Lakeshore State Park near the Summerfest grounds after Rick Grobschmidt.

What a great tribute for this South Milwaukee icon. Now, let’s see that it passes.

The Senate Committee on Transportation and Veterans Affairs held a hearing on SB 99 — to rename the bridge — on Wednesday, but it has not been scheduled yet for a vote, nor action in the Assembly.

State Sen. Chris Larson testified on behalf of the bill, and I sent a letter of support to legislators last month. From it …

Richard Grobschmidt was a lifelong resident of South Milwaukee and was a dedicated community servant, accomplished public official and fierce supporter of education.

Rick graduated from South Milwaukee High School in 1966. He returned to teach political science at the school before serving five terms in the state Assembly and parts of three terms in the state Senate, chairing both the Assembly and Senate education committees. Rick left the Senate in 2003 after he was appointed assistant state superintendent of the Department of Public Instruction. He retired from the DPI in 2010.

Sadly, Rick passed in 2016 after a battle with cancer.

In his time in the state legislature, Rick championed the creation of the Lakeshore State Park, and I can’t think of a better honor for him and his family than to name this bridge after him.

I would like to thank the bill’s co-sponsors for their support in honoring this great man, and, if you have not already, I ask you to consider joining as a co-sponsor and to vote for this bill. I speak on behalf of all the residents of South Milwaukee when I tell you how much we appreciate your efforts to recognize the contributions Rick made to all of Wisconsin.

The Assembly and Senate also passed a joint resolution on Tuesday, in support of Rick. From it …

Whereas, he was known in his many years in the legislature as a consensus builder, a bipartisan worker, and a tireless servant to this constituents;

now, therefore, be it Resolved by the assembly, the senate concurring, That the members of the Wisconsin Legislature salute Richard A. Grobschmidt, acknowledge his tremendous record of public service, and mourn his passing.

South Milwaukee still mourns as well.

I will keep you posted as this makes its way through the legislative process, and as fundraising begins. Learn more about the park here.


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