Menomonee River Parkway Renewal

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Menomonee River Parkway Renewal Project, logo, cracked and missing piece of pavement, cars parked on lawn, sink hole, bicyclist, volunteer path, residential area

Project Documents   |  Newsletter: Update June 24, 2015

The Milwaukee County Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture will reconstruct 4.6 miles of parkway between Congress and Church Streets in 2015. The project presents a rare opportunity to RETHINK the function of the parkway and to RENEW its recreational significance.

Parkway Construction On Schedule

Construction of the first segment of parkway rebuilding began on schedule, April 6, just in time for the deluge that set an official Milwaukee rainfall record for April 9, of 3.18 inches. By the time the storm hit, the old top layer of asphalt between Congress and Mayfair had been milled off, and crews had removed the old curb and gutter. The road actually handled the water fairly well, but it did delay the crews from doing additional work for a few days.

Work renewed April 13. Since then crews

  • Removed the next level of gravel base roadway, and, although they had hoped to be able to recycle, they found the gravel had been comprised with clay, silt, and sand and needed to be replaced;
  • Installed new base course;
  • Poured about one half of the new curbs and gutters;
  • Completed all of the underground storm sewers;
  • Removed existing light poles and began work on the new lighting system; and
  • Began excavating for biofiltration systems and rain gardens.



Reminders to Residents

Irrigation Systems
Several property owners have irrigation systems for their lawns. In some cases, the contractor has found lines and sprinkler heads that extend beyond the owner's property line onto County property.

Often, these irrigation systems are within three feet of the curb and can be damaged as heavy equipment moves through excavating and removing curbs, gutters, and roadway.

If you are one of those property owners with an irrigation system on County property within three feet of the curb, you are responsible for removing it prior to the contractor reaching the area. The same is true for invisible dog fences or other systems installed on County land. Neither the County nor the contractor are liable for any damage, repair, or replacement of any systems that encroach on County land.

Please be mindful of safety at all times. The crews are doing their best to ensure local traffic is maintained at all times so residents have access to and from their homes. But it is a construction zone, so if you eperience a temporary obstacle, please consider going around or finding another route.

Oak Leaf Trail Users
The Oak Leaf Trail, including access at Congress, remains open though on-road facilities have been detoured to Glenway Street, Mayfair Road, Keefe Avenue, and the Menomonee River Parkway on the west side of the river. Despite the detour, some pedestrians and bicyclists continue to run or bike in the construction zone on the roadway. This is extremely dangerous and could lead to accidents. Please use the detour and encourage others to do the same.

All residents, businesses, and parkway users are asked to not park along the parkway during construction. Residents are encouraged to use their driveways, and businesses and others are asked to use their parking lots or side streets.

Dog Parks
Humans and their canine companions still have access to the Dog Park and, on foot, can still enter at the parkway gate. But please, no parking along the parkway. Dog Park users should park in the Capitol Drive parking lot and use that entry gate.



Construction Phasing
Phase One: Congress to Burleigh, Approximately 2 miles
Phase Two: Burleigh to Church, Approximately 2.5 miles


Anticipated Schedule

Anticipated Project Schedule

Project Wins MMSD Grant for Additional Green Infrastructure

Best Management Practices for Rainwater Runoff

A $227,000 grant from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District has been awarded to Milwaukee County Parks through the MMSD Green Infrastructure Partnership Program.  The program goal is to improve storm water runoff quality as part of the parkway renewal project.  The grant will allow the County to double the amount of green infrastructure components planned for the parkway, diverting and filtering storm water into bio-filtration basins with native plants, and grass lined bio-swales before it enters the Menomonee River.

Phase One of the Menomonee River Parkway Renewal Project now includes . . .

16 rain gardens
• 4 bio-filtration basins
• 51 new storm water trees
• 3,400 linear feet of roadway runoff filtration
• 80% pollutant reduction
• Anticipated $300,000 investment in green infrastructure


Traffic Calming Features

Plan Includes Traffic-Calming Components, Multi-Use Path

In public planning meetings the community desire to calm traffic, improve safety, and provide pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the parkway came through loud and clear.   The plans for the parkway renewal incorporate components that do just that.  Extended Terraces and clearly marked raised pedestrian crossings will be installed at four locations along the parkway including Park Ridge Avenue, Keefe Avenue, Concordia Avenue, and Auer Street.  The extended terraces narrow the parkway, slow traffic, and create safer pedestrian crossing points.  A ten foot wide multi-use path will be built from Mayfair Road to Swan Boulevard.  The path will be shared by pedestrians and bicycles.


Budget Approved, Contractor Selected

A total of $7 million has been approved in two consecutive County budgets for the Menomonee River Parkway Reconstruction project.  

In the Fall of 2014, the City of Wauwatosa made improvements to City utilities in preparation for the construction project and Milwaukee County did some temporary paving repairs to maintain the roadway over the winter.  The project was advertised for bids and the County selected Stark Asphalt as the prime contractor for the parkway reconstruction work. Other members of the Stark team include Sirrah Construction who will handle all the underground work;  Simon Landscape who will be responsible for special soils and plantings for the rain gardens, bio-filtration basins, trees, and landscaping  restoration;  and Century who will be doing all pavement marking. 


What’s Next?

Newsletter: Update June 24, 2015

In May, contractors will complete the work begun in April and begin working Saturdays to make up for the lost time and stay on schedule. With good weather, the new asphalt surface may begin to be laid in the next couple of weeks. Planting and landscape restoration will also occur. If all goes according to plan, segment one will be completed on schedule around June 1, and work will begin on segment two *(Mayfair to Burleigh).

Final Phase Two Plan Set: Projected July 6 construction start.

Property owners will be notified of construction and plan updates. News updates like the link above will be provided electronically as needed to keep stakeholders informed of progress.  The cities of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa, neighborhood associations, impacted organizations and individuals and media that are already on our email list will receive updates and be asked to share the information with their networks. We aim to provide stakeholders with project information in the most timely and cost effective means possible.  



Questions may be directed to Sarah Toomsen at (414) 257-7389 or through the Contact Form 
Final Phase I (North Half) Project Plan Set
Final Phase II Project Plan Set

Plans will also be on display at the Milwaukee County Parks offices located at 9480 West Watertown Plank Road (access off Discovery Parkway).    


Watch this page for additional updates.


Menomonee River Parkway Renewal Project Documents

Final Phase I (North Half) Project Plan Set
Final Phase II Project Plan Set

Project Archive
     Update June 24, 2015
    Update May 6, 2015
Update March 17, 2015
     Update Jan. 26, 2015

Project Update, Oct. 15, 2014
    Project Update from County Executive Chris Abele

Public Information Meeting #2, Feb. 12, 2014, Review of Design Concepts
    PowerPoint Presentation (as pdf)

Public Information Meeting #1, Nov. 20, 2013
    Context Map (PDF)
    Public Information Meeting #1 Handout
   Map #1: Congress Street to Burleigh Street
   Map #2: Burleigh Street to North Avenue
   Map #3: North Avenue to Church Street
   Exhibit #1: Traffic Calming Tools
   Exhibit #2: Stormwater Tools
   Exhibit #3: Stormwater Tools
   Exhibit #4: Bicycle Improvement Tools
   Exhibit #5: Pedestrian & Planting Improvement Tools






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