Milwaukee Bridges Falling Down

Connecting Bay View (Lakeview parkway) to Downtown Milwaukee (794) is the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge. The bridge is named after Milwaukee’s second longest serving mayor. Construction of the bridge began in 1970 but it did not open to the public until 1977 because of public disapproval of the Milwaukee freeway system. The bridge made a cameo appearance in the Blues Brothers movie. The scene is pretty gosh darn nail biting if you ask me…

For those of you who were in the Milwaukee area during December of 2000, you may remember a portion of the bridge buckling and sagging. After about a year and 16 million dollars, the damaged portion was replaced and the whole bridge was spruced up a bit. Despite the fact that the bridge seems to be in good shape these days, I still find myself fearing its possible collapse every time I attend a Summerfest concert at either the Miller Oasis or Big Backyard stages. Call me paranoid, but that thing would hurt if it fell on your head.

I think it's pretty.

I think it's pretty.

More recently, bridge has made headlines again. Sometime in the next five years major repairs will need to be made to the bridge in order to ensure its safety. The State Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) want to tear the bridge down, and build a street level boulevard to connect downtown and the south shore. Others, including County Supervisors Pat Jursik, Chris Larson, and Marina Dimitrijevic, along with State Rep. Chris Sinicki, have formed the Coalition to Save the Hoan in order to bring attention to saving this Milwaukee landmark. Studies are still being conducted as to which option would be most beneficial (cost wise) for Milwaukee residents.

A decision does not need to be made about the bridges future until 2012, so keep an eye out for this debate to heat up in the next couple years.


3 responses to “Milwaukee Bridges Falling Down

  1. There’s also a big group of people petitioning for a bike lane on the bridge, since it’s the quickest way to get from downtown/the eastside to bayview, but definitely not safe for bikers.

  2. I take the Hoan Bridge from school to work on a weekly basis. I really like how it goes right over the lake. I knew they wanted to tear it down, but never why. Thanks for explaining it to me.

  3. The view of the lake from the Hoan Bridge is absolutely beautiful! What I remember most about that bridge is when I got a flat tire in the middle of it. It was so windy when I got out of my car that it honestly almost blew me over the side!

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