Welcome to the New Layton Boulevard
A just-completed streetscaping and lighting project has enhanced Layton Boulevard.
Layton Boulevard now has a new look.
“South Layton is one of the most beautiful streets in this entire community,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett declared at a press conference Thursday in front of a historic Frank Lloyd Wright house on S. Layton Blvd. and W. Burnham St.
And it’s just become better looking, thanks to a newly-completed streetscaping and lighting project that was carried out by a partnership between the Layton Boulevard West Neighbors, the Historic Layton Boulevard Association, and the city Department of Public Works (DPW). The project cost $1.14 million, and 80 percent of the money came from a federal grant (funneled through a state transportation enhancement program) which Rep. Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) helped secure. The city, meanwhile, provided the other 20 percent of the funding in matching dollars for the federal grant, according to Sandra Rusch Walton, the DPW’s communications manager.
The project involved the installation of colored concrete sidewalks, improved curb ramps, planters, and trash cans at intersections on nearly the entire stretch of S. Layton Blvd. (from W. National Ave. to W. Lincoln Ave.) and going south to where the Kinnickinnic River crosses S. 27th St., about two blocks north to W. Oklahoma Ave. The result is a cosmetic makeover that will also enhance public safety. New lighting installed included 135 new pedestrian-scale harp light poles, with the same 100-watt high pressure sodium lamps that can be found Downtown on Wisconsin Ave. Also, 84 preexisting cobra lights were upgraded to Milwaukee-style lantern fixtures.
“The livability of the neighborhood continues to be enhanced by what we’re doing here,” said Barrett. “We’ve tried to do it in a way that’s attractive to our current residents and future residents.”
The project had been in the works for a little over three years with the goal of preserving the historic nature of the neighborhood, which is a state and federal designated historic district, and also to improve the public safety. “I hope this project is a stepping stone for more good things to come for this neighborhood,” said Donna Hyke, with the Historic Layton Boulevard Association. “We have a beautiful place here and we need to preserve it.”
“It’s really looking cool,” Zepnick said. “I’m pumped up about it.”
The public announcement of the completion of this project came just days after David Montanez, a 64 year old resident of the neighborhood, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run as he was exiting a bus at the intersection of S. 27th and W. Rogers St..
“We’ve often had an issue in the neighborhood with cars and traffic going too fast,” said Zepnick.
The new changes, Zepnick and others hope, will reduce the likelihood of similar tragedies occurring.
The press conference was held in the district of Ald. Bob Donovan, who is running against Barrett for mayor and against Zepnick for alderman. But Donovan did not attend.