Joe Dudzik
Press Release

Ald. Dudzik: Streetcar utility concerns are nothing new

In spite of my longstanding opposition to the streetcar project proposed for Milwaukee’s downtown, I have to admit that I was more than a little puzzled by the statement Alderman Bob Donovan made today. My colleague raised concerns about potential cost overruns due to the relocation of steam tunnels and water mains along the streetcar […]

By - Jan 30th, 2013 06:00 pm

In spite of my longstanding opposition to the streetcar project proposed for Milwaukee’s downtown, I have to admit that I was more than a little puzzled by the statement Alderman Bob Donovan made today.

My colleague raised concerns about potential cost overruns due to the relocation of steam tunnels and water mains along the streetcar route. He seemed genuinely surprised by the revelations, and accused the Barrett Administration of keeping “under wraps potentially HUGE cost overruns,” in spite of the fact that these concerns have been public knowledge—even common knowledge—for almost two years!

With all due respect, I think it’s fair to say that the three Common Council members and I who joined Alderman Donovan in voting against funding for this project did so precisely because of the concerns we had about these factors, among others. We discussed the potential need to relocate underground steam tunnels and water mains in public forums, as well as in private conversations.

I personally have discussed the possible need to relocate utilities whenever I have given talks about the streetcar topic in the community. I am absolutely sure this same information, and even maps of potentially problematic utilities, were available to Alderman Donovan.

The concerns Alderman Donovan expresses are not a revelation. There is nothing secretive that I can see going on here—and nothing new that hasn’t been discussed many times already, unless Alderman Donovan has simply forgotten those conversations.

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