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Replacing pedestrian bridges over Washington Park lagoon? County considering it

The parks department held a public meeting Wednesday, asking residents for their input on the matter, according to our partners at OnMilwaukee.
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Posted at 2:15 PM, Jan 06, 2023

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County Parks is looking into replacing the old pedestrian bridges spanning the lagoon at Washington Park.

The parks department held a public meeting Wednesday, asking residents for their input on the matter, according to our partners at OnMilwaukee.

During the meeting, officials shared just how bad conditions are on those bridges.

According to OnMilwaukee, photos shared by parks staff showed loose and falling stones and failing mortar joins. They showed broken concrete and exposed reinforcing rods. And they showed cracks and potholes on the paths on the tops of the bridges.

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Shown during the public meeting about the bridges.

According to a 2021 public meeting, respondents expressed their preference for restoring - rather than replacing - the old bridges. Many favored the look of the current bridges or the version of the bridge that existed back in 1907, rather than something completely new.

Rehabilitation would cost taxpayers about $525,000, parks officials say, compared to the $620,000 a concrete replacement one would cost.

Milwaukee County Parks Senior Landscape Architect Brad Drefcinski reportedly said work on the bridges is expected to begin in 2023, but that's not guaranteed.

Milwaukee County approved funding for construction in the 2023 capital budget.

So far, proposed work on the bridges includes:

  • replacement of the bridges
  • replacement of asphalt bridge approaches
  • new asphalt paths
  • removal of unhealthy vegetation and trees
  • regrading and replanting slopes near bridges to prevent erosion
  • among other measures

Keep up with the project on their website.

Photos taken by TMJ4 News on Friday, Jan. 6, 2023

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Washington Park lagoon bridge.
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Washington Park lagoon bridge.

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