County Closes Lake Park Bridge

Abele administration cites safety concerns, seeks $2 million in private funds.

By - Dec 14th, 2016 12:24 pm
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Abele administration cites safety concerns, seeks $2 million in private funds. Back to the full article.

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Categories: Politics, Real Estate

15 thoughts on “County Closes Lake Park Bridge”

  1. Absurdities abound. This bridge can handle the foot traffic. And the chain link barrier is SO Tacky. À Plutocratic effrontery.

  2. Virginia Small says:

    This is the link to the July 2015 Graef report on the bridge reffed in the article:

    http://county.milwaukee.gov/ImageLibrary/Groups/cntyParks/Planning/LakeParkoverRavineRoadInDepthReportFinal2015-07-23.pdf

    Here’s Milwaukee County Parks’ “Historic Resources Managemen Plan,” released n 2013:

    http://www.thc.texas.gov/public/upload/preserve/survey/highway/Milw%20Co%20Historic%20Properties%20Management%20Plan.pdf

  3. Joan Aker says:

    A dreadful choice for blocking vehicular traffic. How about planters to hold our beautiful Wisconsin evergreens. Thus stopping “forbidden” traffic but allowing pedestrians to enjoy our world class park.

  4. Gary says:

    Birdseye view of original 1895 bridge plans (sans roadway & park extension) found here:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=839868022821771&set=o.190247763021&type=3

    The total cost of construction for both bridges was $60K (from the Milwaukee Herold).

  5. tom says:

    Very disappointing decision for those who use the bridge regularly particularly since the report states that the bridge can support pedestrian traffic.

  6. CZAR says:

    Another sad state of affair, two years down and best the system can achieve is a fence , pathetic.
    On the other hand, every time i visit this website my computer hangs up costing me time. that sucks,
    I am unsubscribing, don’t call back

  7. Patricia Jursik says:

    The author is right to question if the bridge could be demolished, but it is even more draconian. With emergency order, the county ordinances allow unilateral action by the county executive. This means that crews could be sent in the wee hours of the morning by unilateral action of one person without any checks or balances. There is a real issue as to whether this is proper declaration here and whether this is an emergency. It would be a great tragedy for our Park system and the Olsmstead legacy to have such a structure declared unsafe and unilateral orders given to destroy this legacy. I think it would be a very unwise move by the executive which would result in an outcry of “foul” by citizens. Money is not the problem, it is the selection of our priorities and who gets to say where the money will be spent. Need I say the words, “new arena?”

  8. Jackson says:

    @Gary That image depicts the Lion bridges that are north of the bridge in question. If those were closed down I’m sure the money would be raised very quickly.

    Looks like they will most likely use an exaggerated safety concern to speed up the razing of the bridge. Have they cordoned off the area directly under the bridge as well?
    My opinion on the matter is tear it down and put up a modern bridge that has some aesthetic. Being able to experience the park is more important than struggling with the preservation of this particular bridge.

  9. Jackson says:

    @Gary That image depicts the Lion bridges that are south of the bridge in question. If those were closed down I’m sure the money would be raised very quickly.

    Looks like they will most likely use an exaggerated safety concern to speed up the razing of the bridge. Have they cordoned off the area directly under the bridge as well?
    My opinion on the matter is tear it down and put up a modern bridge that has some aesthetic. Being able to experience the park is more important than struggling with the preservation of this particular bridge.

  10. Virginia Small says:

    @Jackson, in response to your question about the area directly under the bridge: Yes, tall chain-link fencing and cyclone fencing was also installed at both ends of the road last week to restrict all access, not just vehicles.

    Concerns about the bridge’s underside relate to flaking concrete, similar to spalling concrete within the Domes. The county is considering installing wire mesh to prevent any such flakes from falling. Engineers have always confirmed that the bridge’s arch is completely sound, with a “90 psf rating,” the standard for arches of pedestrian bridges. So there has been no stated concern about the arch possibly collapsing.

    In a December 9 memo to County Board members, Teig Whaley-Smith, director of administrative services, outlined what the county is considering:
    “4. Next Steps Immediate need
    Not knowing how long it will take the friends groups to raise the requisite funds, the County still needs to take immediate action to make sure the area is safe and secure. The temporary barricades are not a sufficient solution. The County is preparing estimates for two immediate alternatives. One is steel mesh, similar to the Domes that would hold material from falling to the drive below. This would allow the drive to reopen, but not the bridge itself. The second immediate alternative is to complete step 1 of the Replace-in-Kind strategy which is to demolish the bridge. This second option would also allow the drive to be opened.

    The immediate decision point by the Board is around the temporary closure. The primary decision that needs to be decided by the Board is whether to (a) keep the fencing in place until funds are raised with an unknown duration, (b) mesh wiring that would open the drive but not the bridge until funds are raised with an unknown duration, or (c) complete step 1 of the Repair and Replace alternative, in which case the drive would be open, and the bridge rebuilt when funds are raised. If you need any further information to inform your decision making process, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

    It should be noted that all those supporting a “replace-in-kind” solution put in writing a proviso: They firmly oppose any demolition of the bridge until all funding for a new bridge is in hand and a plan for such a replacement is fully approved.

  11. Miss Emily Litella says:

    Whats all this I hear about volume on the bridge these kids should play the radios at home.
    Thankyou.

  12. Pete Mingle says:

    Metaphors about bridges are legion. This (mis)calculated brinksmanship is “a bridge too far.” Smart civic leaders know their value and maintain historic/landmark bridges–they don’t scheme to (in effect) “burn” them.

    It’s simply not believable that county officials fear that hundreds of East Side gentry or Pokemon rabble will suddenly descend upon this bridge–for any reason–without the requisite event permit. Ravine Road Bridge is tucked away in the woods, which is one reason Chris Abele thinks he can get away with tearing it down.

    Just post a maximum bridge-occupancy and trust the good citizens of Milwaukee County to obey regulations. Don’t insult their common sense. In 50 years, I’ve never seen more than a dozen people on this bridge at any time–much less hundreds.

    Mr. Abele, please stop making Frederick Law Olmsted spin in his grave. Using this bridge as a pawn in one of your silly little games is just wrong.

  13. Sue says:

    I’m very glad the anonymous donor removed his idiotic plan too close Ravine Road to vehicular traffic. It boggles my mind why someone who supposedly lives in the neighborhood would want to do that. Does he really enjoy having me and everyone else traveling there drive through his neighborhood every time I visit the park?

  14. Tim says:

    There is a large parking lot to the east of Lake Park, accessed right where Ravine Road used to meet Lincoln Memorial Drive. There is a parking lot on the north of the park, accessed off LMR, there is parking along the entire western edge of the park and if you enter from Newberry, there are parking areas both north & south.

    I’d wager that Lake Park has enough parking options and ways to get there. Have you walked through Ravine Road without traffic? It’s beautiful in every season and is an experience that wouldn’t exist with the traffic allowed back.

  15. Virginia Small says:

    Re: Ravine Road: One approach that Milwaukee could consider would be to establish a formal process for reviewing proposed changes to Milwaukee’s Olmsted parks. Friends of Seattle Olmsted Parks (FSOP) does this. (FL Olmsted’s son John Charles designed that system which has many remarkable parks; he was renowned in his own right.) From their website:

    “FSOP also works closely with the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation and other public agencies to provide independent review of projects in Seattle’s Olmsted Brothers-influenced parks and boulevards. FSOP helps ensure that proposed changes preserve or enhance the role the park or boulevard in the park and boulevard system John Charles Olmsted planned for the City of Seattle between 1903 and 1912 and that they are consistent with the designs developed by the Olmsted Brothers Landscape Architects firm for the individual landscapes.

    The FSOP board is composed of citizens with expertise in landscape architecture, history, horticulture, arboriculture, business management, and urban planning. A number of our board members are involved in the preservation and revitalization of individual Olmsted-influenced landscapes in addition to their participation in FSOP’s work.”

    http://seattleolmsted.org/about

    Some other cities with Olmsted parks also have review procedures. It affords changes that are well-considered that preserve and enhance the legacy parks and their neighborhoods.

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