Category Archives: Construction

Traffic Alert: Marquette Avenue (Highway 32) Closure Looming

Marquette Avenue bridge

This will cause some headaches, to be sure.

The city has been informed that Marquette Avenue will be closed between 10th and 12th Avenues starting Wednesday, March 16, for a Union Pacific Railroad bridge rehabilitation project. The closure is estimated to last into May.

Traffic will be detoured on to 12th and Milwaukee Avenues during construction.

If this is your normal route of travel, please plan on an alternate route. This is obviously a major route through the city, and we thank you ahead of time for your patience.

I will keep you posted during this project.


Filed under Construction, South Milwaukee

Update: Beech Street Bridge Expected To Reopen Before Christmas

Beech Street bridge

Milwaukee County has provided an update on the Beech Street pedestrian bridge, which was removed this spring after officials deemed it unsafe.

The headline: The bridge over Oak Creek is excepted to reopen the week of December 21, about a month behind schedule.

Here is a quick rundown of expected activities in the next six weeks, provided by the county …

  • Caisson and abutment contractor mobilize: Week of Nov. 9
  • Bridge shop drawings from bridge supplier: Nov. 11
  • Review and approve shop drawings (assumes no resubmittal needed): Nov 13
  • Caisson and abutment construction complete: Dec. 4
  • Complete grading for bridge approaches (crushed stone surface):  Week of Dec. 7
  • Current bridge delivery schedule: Dec. 18
  • Set bridge: Week of Dec. 21 (bridge open for use)
  • Pave asphalt approaches: Spring 2016

I thank the county for their continued work on this, and I appreciate your patience. With funding approved on July 16, I am glad to see work will still be substantially complete before the dead of winter sets in. This is an important connection for a number of residents and our schools, as well as recreational users of the Oak Creek Parkway, me included.

The good news: Once this is done, we should have a bridge built for the long term, another in a line of significant recent investments in the Oak Creek watershed and our local parks.

I think it will be well worth the wait.


Filed under Construction, Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

For A Smoother Parkway

Oak Creek Parkway road

Milwaukee County is proposing to spend close to $1 million to rebuild Oak Creek Parkway from the railroad trestle near South Milwaukee High School, east to Chicago Avenue.

The project, contained in the county’s recently released capital budget proposal and pushed by Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik and County Executive Chris Abele, would begin in 2016 with planning and design, with the construction work being done in 2017. From the capital budget plan …

The project scope for 2017 work is anticipated to include reconstruction of the storm sewer and pavement systems. Storm water best management practices and green infrastructure is included. Replacement of municipal utilities such as sanitary sewers, water mains, and storm sewers are being coordinated with this project.

I ask that the full county board approve this plan. If you’ve driven this stretch lately, you know it’s necessary work — or, as the budget plan puts it, a “highest priority” project for a road in need of “immediate renovation.”


Filed under Construction, Milwaukee County, South Milwaukee

Public Works Update: 13th Avenue, Clark Avenue, Oak Creek Bridge Repairs

We continue to invest in our infrastructure in South Milwaukee. Some of the early projects for 2015 …

  • At our meeting last Tuesday, the city council approved spending $97,535 to repave 13th Avenue between Milwaukee and Marquette Avenues. Work is expected to be complete by the end of June.
  • Also on Tuesday, the council voted to spent $139,157 to replace the fascia below the bridge over Oak Creek along Milwaukee Avenue. If you’ve drive north on 15th Avenue toward Milwaukee in recent years — as I’m sure you have — I’m sure you’ve seen the large hole in the fascia below the bridge on the east side of the creek. The city will replace it and the other three walls with decorative precast panels. Work is expected to be complete by early June.
  • We’re also advertising for bids for repaving Clark Avenue, 5th to 9th Avenues.

Learn more about our engineering projects here.

I’ll keep you posted on more projects as construction season begins in earnest soon.

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Filed under City Council, City Services, Construction, South Milwaukee

Hoan Update

For those who haven’t driven the Hoan Bridge the last couple of weeks, there are some big changes to traffic flow.

Less than a year left!

Here is the update.

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Filed under Construction, South Milwaukee

Hoan Bridge Update: Halfway There

Plenty of South Milwaukee commuters will find this update from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation valuable …

Construction on the I-794 Lake Freeway / Hoan Bridge Project is about to reach the halfway point.

Despite a frigid winter, crews were able to stay on schedule and are nearing completion of the eastbound (southbound) leg of the I-794 Lake Freeway / Hoan Bridge Project. In early December, the project will officially transition to the second and final stage of construction with an intended completion date of Fall 2015. During Stage 2 of the I-794 Lake Freeway / Hoan Bridge Project, bidirectional traffic will be placed in the eastbound (southbound) lanes of I-794, from a temporary crossover south of Carferry Drive. Traffic will remain in this configuration for the remainder of the project. To maintain as much access as possible during construction, other new configurations will include:

  • Closing the Jackson Street / Van Buren exit ramp and transforming it into an entrance ramp to I-794 West (North)
  • Opening the Broadway entrance ramp to I-794 East (South)
  • Utilizing temporary roadways
  • Continued use of the moveable barrier wall to maintain two lanes of traffic during peak travel times

As seen during Stage 1, periodic updates will continue to be sent throughout the project to remind motorists of upcoming closures, detour routes and other project related impacts. The project team appreciates your patience and understanding during this time of intense construction in your area.

Learn more about the project on its website, Facebook and Twitter.

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Filed under Construction, South Milwaukee

Navigating The Hoan

If you’re like me — a proud South Shore resident who commutes daily through downtown — you can’t wait for the Hoan Bridge work to be done.

Well, the bad news is it will be a while: The project won’t be complete until late 2015.

The good news: Progress is being made.

I just came across the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s Hoan Bridge reconstruction website, so I’d encourage you to check it out for regular updates.

The new news is around the Jackson/Van Buren on- and off-ramp. Arch repainting also continues into the late fall.

And one more note: I think this movable barrier — where they can add a lane depending on the time of day — is really cool. I’ve never seen a piece of machinery like it.

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Filed under Construction

Construction Update: 11th Avenue, Sherman, Blake

Quick construction update …

The new-and-improved 11th Avenue is now open, with the construction project between Milwaukee and Michigan Avenues nearly complete. (Check out the photo below.)

The road will be home to the South Milwaukee Downtown Market once again starting Thursday, July 31, as the market moves from its temporary home at 12th and Milwaukee to its traditional location.

The South Milwaukee City Council also approved at its meeting Tuesday spending more than $250,000 to repave Sherman Avenue Fifth to Ninth and Blake Avenue Eighth to Ninth, in addition to water main work on Sherman.


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Filed under Construction, South Milwaukee

Drexel Avenue Is Open

Just a quick update …

Drexel Avenue is now fully open east- and west-bound from 15th to Nicholson Avenues. Thanks for your patience, and please drive safely.


Filed under Construction, South Milwaukee

Drexel Lane Closures Coming

Take note: The westbound lanes of Drexel Boulevard from 15th Avenue to Nicholson will be completely closed for approximately three weeks starting on Tuesday, April 22.

Then, once work on that side of the street is done, eastbound lanes will be closed.

This is all part of the multi-year reconstruction project on this major city street. The project should be completed by the end of May.

Learn more here. And thanks ahead of time for your patience as we continue to invest in our infrastructure.

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Filed under City Services, Construction, South Milwaukee

Construction Headache Alert: Big Changes On 794 To Downtown

Here is the latest news on the Hoan Bridge project, including details on a key closure and a new temporary roadway into downtown …

I took this route a couple times this weekend, and I can see this being a big mess during rush hour especially. Stay safe!

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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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Filed under Construction, Transportation

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

Investing In Infrastructure: City Council Approves 2013 Capital Projects

The biggest decision at Tuesday’s South Milwaukee City Council meeting: A 7-0 vote to move ahead with $1 million in various capital improvement projects this year. Among the projects and estimated costs …

  • Re-roofing the city garage: $300,000
  • 12th Avenue reconstruction, Milwaukee to Minnesota Avenues: $250,000
  • Replacing one of the South Milwaukee Fire Department medical units: $185,000
  • Repaving and other work on Minnesota and Monroe Avenues, 12th to 14th Avenues: $150,000
  • Various repaving, local streets and alleys: $105,500
  • Replace lighting fixtures at the library: $9,500

While the council approved the overall plan, it must still approve each of these products as they come up, so actual costs may vary. And we’ve already discussed several of these improvements.

As to how these projects will be paid for, the council also approved either of two options, to be determined: moving existing money from our undesignated funds (“rainy day” fund) or borrowing the amount with a short-term loan to be paid off when we do a larger, longer-term borrowing down the road (likely in 2014).

I’ll keep you posted on some of these projects as they get underway.

Also approved at Tuesday’s council meeting: Spending up to $180,000 for significant concrete repairs on Drexel Boulevard, from Nicholson to 15th Avenues. That work will be completed by the end of September, with pavement marking after that. Phase two of this project — east of 15th — will come later, perhaps 2014. The pavement dates to 1972.

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Filed under Construction

Rawson Avenue Reopens, With New Bridge

The Interstate 94 on- and off-ramps won’t open until late fall, but Rawson Avenue is open once again following the construction and movement into place of a new overpass bridge.

One lane is open each way into September.

Check out information on the Wisconsin DOT I-94 construction website, including this video of the new bridge being put into place.

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Filed under Construction