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Supervisors looking for safe ways to fix McKinley Beach

McKinley Beach
Posted at 9:51 PM, Mar 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-23 23:15:36-04

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County Supervisors are considering several different plans to retrofit McKinley Beach and make it safer. The beach has been closed since three people died in the summer of 2020 after drowning.

The supervisors commissioned a study to come up with fixes for strong riptides and currents caused by the breakwaters and lake currents.

Third District Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman, who’s district encompasses the beach said, “We have to solve this problem. We have to have people out enjoying our beaches in the summer.”

The proposals offer a wide range of changes from filling in sand at parts of the beach to completely reworking the breakwaters. They also range in cost from $250,000 to $4.9 million. Wasserman says finding an affordable solution is key.

“The multi-million dollar options are not going to be done. We can’t do that. That’s a big project and we don’t have the money” he said.

Whatever is done will have to be maintained by the already cash strapped Milwaukee County Parks Department.

Some temporary proposals laid out in the study include a “Swim Warning System” and a Buoy rope between the breakwaters. Wasserman would like to see a study on a modified version of the rope idea.

“Just basically putting a rope from one side of the barrier to the other side of the barrier and kind of putting a netting underneath so people can’t go under and be pushed out to the lake” Wasserman said.

He’d like that idea to be tested for safety.

Final proposals are expected to be given to the county board in May. Wasserman says he hopes to have a solution for this summer, allowing them to open the beaches.

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