Tag Archives: Milwaukee County Parks

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

Beech Street Bridge Update: Working Hard Toward A Replacement

Not surprisingly, there are lots of folks wondering “what’s next?” for the Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek. I am one of those people, and continue to press the county for action.

Here is an update from County Supervisor Patricia Jursik …

The Parks Department has gotten initial estimates on the bridge replacement. The figure is in the ball park of $150,000. The bridge can no longer just be repaired as it was last time in 2010 when the flood washed it out. It will now need new bridge footings.

We have been exploring how to pay for this cost since it was not in the county budget. The Parks Department has said they do not have “cash” to pay for this. Parks is exploring whether there may be excess funds available in our capital budget. (This occurs when we borrow for other projects that do not cost as much as planned. Typically the county has excess funds in almost every year because of the amount of borrowing we do in both Parks and Highway among others.) The good news is that replacement of a bridge is an appropriate project to use capital funds (IRS rules).  

I know the City of South Milwaukee would like this bridge replaced ASAP since there are so few routes across the creek for the subdivision in question.  There is an estimate from the schools that about 200 children live in the subdivision and need to have access to a crossing without going to either Rawson or College.  

If county officials can be convinced this is an emergency need, there could be an argument to get cash out of the county’s contingency funds, and it could be done without going through a lengthy RFP process. Without this classification, all projects must go through standard channels that require an RFP. If the county must go through our standard procedure, it will be nearly impossible to get this done by September. As it stands now, we should be signing contracts and getting the work started immediately to meet a September deadline.  

So, where do we go from here? Supervisor Jursik pledges to continue to push hard to get this repaired as soon as possible, and I will stand beside her in making this case with the county executive and others.

We both know how important this bridge is, not just for school traffic, but for all of the recreational users of the Oak Creek Parkway – from joggers to bicyclists to dog walkers.

We will keep you updated throughout the work to replace it.

Also of concern are reports that people (especially kids) are going around the barricades and using the closed (and unsafe) bridge anyway. I have asked the county to step up efforts to prevent this. While the closure is frustrating, we can’t have people ignoring the signage and attempting to cross the bridge. It’s too dangerous.

We ask for patience. This bridge must be fixed for the long term, and done the right way.


Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Beech Street Foot Bridge Closed Indefinitely

Beech Street bridge

Some bad news for students walking to South Milwaukee Middle and High School, and those who love walks and bike rides along Oak Creek Parkway: The Beech Street foot bridge over Oak Creek has been closed indefinitely and may need to be completely replaced.

That’s the word from the Milwaukee County Parks Department, who called me late this afternoon. Workers were closing it down this evening.

A citizen alerted me to a concern over the bridge swaying late last week, and I informed County Supervisor Pat Jursik. The county had engineers inspect it today, when the order was issued after they deemed it “structurally unsafe.”

The county tells me it’s likely the bridge will have to be fully replaced, so be prepared for a long closure.

Of course, this is not the first time this bridge has had issues. Still, we appreciate your patience, and we will know more about next steps in coming days and weeks. I’ll keep you posted.


Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks, South Milwaukee

Parks Update: Lakefront Parks Joint Meeting, Seven Bridges Repair

Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik’s eNews update has a couple of updates involving Grant Park, including word of joint meeting of lakefront park Friends groups set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Grant Park clubhouse.

The goal: increased cooperation around common issues like erosion, beach health and safety.

There is also good news on Grant Park’s Seven Bridges:

The Parks Department plans to restore the large lakeside bridge at Seven Bridges soon. The contractors hope to begin construction in late November and complete work by the end of 2012.  While Seven Bridges shall remain open to the public, some areas will be obstructed to accommodate heavy machinery.  Reconstruction of the large lakeside bridge will be prioritized.   The crew will then repair the footbridge by Wil-O-Way.

To protect this sensitive area, we need to use the official paths.  Unfortunately, visitors have climbed down and eroded the ravine while the bridge has been out of service.


Filed under Milwaukee County, Parks

More On Black’s Firing And Other Headlines

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel spoke with South Shore Supervisor Pat Jursik about the firing Milwaukee County Parks Director on Monday. According to the story:

Supervisor Jursik, who is a lawyer, said she feared that Abele’s firing of Black exposed the county to potential damages. Jursik said Black likely has a good argument that her 2011 raise given to keep her in her county job created a contractual right to her job. If a judge or jury agreed, the county would be forced to argue the firing was justified for cause, Jursik said.

Check out the full story here … and these other local headlines.

Also, NOW has published a new police blotter, including reference to a $3,000 theft from a safe on Southtown Place.

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Filed under Headlines

“Not Easily Replaced”: Pat Jursik’s Reaction To Sue Black’s Firing

I can’t think of an elected official who more passionately supports the Milwaukee County Parks System than Pat Jursik, our county supervisor.

So I wondered what Pat had to say in response to the unexpected firing of Parks Director Sue Black on Thursday. Here is what she wrote to me …

Sue Black was recently given a raise by the county executive.  She was re-approved in her appointment by the board just last Spring.  With year-after-year budget cuts, Sue Black found ways to keep the parks dept. as vital and responsive as possible.  I talked to Sue Black often about more services for our South Shore Parks.  She always responded and, while reminding me of the budget cuts, she found ways to be responsive.  Sue Black has 10 years of community contacts, corporate contacts, sweat equity and a history built through hard work in our community.  Sue Black is not easily replaced.  The county executive owes our community a better explanation than he has given.  He has not shared his thought on a “new direction” with the board, but this damage is now done.  Chris Abele needs to be accountable for what he did and why.

Of course, I’d like to know what you think about this. Post your comments below!



Filed under Milwaukee County

Extended Hours For South Milwaukee’s Grobschmidt Pool

With highs in the 90s expected, Milwaukee County is extending the hours of a number of pools this week.

That includes Grobschmidt Pool in South Milwaukee, which will now be open from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday this week. The pool is already open on Tuesdays and Thursdays during that time, as well as 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily.

Learn more in this Journal Sentinel story on the Milwaukee County Parks website.

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Filed under Milwaukee County

Grobschmidt Pool Scheduled To Open June 16

If you’re thinking about beating the heat with a dip in South Milwaukee’s Grobschmidt Pool, it will have to wait until next weekend.

Grobchmidt Pool, along with other outdoor pools in the Milwaukee County Parks System, is scheduled to open on Saturday, June 16.

Hours will be 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. daily and also 5:30 to 7:30 Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Learn more and see rates on the county’s website. Grobschmidt Pool is located at 2600 16th Ave., behind City Hall.


Filed under Community, Milwaukee County