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Milwaukee Lakefront Gateway Project:
Street and Highway Development

The larger Lakefront Gateway Project has three (3) main components:

Public Spaces, Streets and Highways, and Private Sector Development Sites.


Component - Streets and Highways.

 
The Gateway project’s initial efforts were focused on relocation of expressway ramps, creation of new streets and re-design of others, and improvements to pedestrian and bicycle connections. 
 
i) The plan extends and connects the street grid.  The Lakefront will be better connected to the Third Ward through the extension of Lincoln Memorial Drive, and the Downtown better connected to the Lakefront with the connection of Clybourn to the Lakefront. These connections will include enhanced pedestrian and bicycle connections.
 
ii) The revised road network does not reduce the "usable" open space, but rather reorganizes it and also turns former "residual" open spaces into additional "usable" open space. For more information, click HERE.
 
iii) The adjusted existing Lincoln Memorial Drive is the same number of lanes, however the Michigan Street right turn by-passes will be eliminated, the center median will be more of a “boulevard” in character, with enhanced pedestrian refuge areas, and crosswalk delineation will be improved to make a more desirable waiting and crossing condition.
 
 
iv) Streets east of Lincoln Memorial Drive will be narrowed and created in a much narrower profile, while still serving functional needs.  The adjusted streets east of Lincoln Memorial Drive are intended to have a feel similar to the more pedestrian friendly nature of Art Museum Drive, with a plaza-like character such as higher quality surfaces, lower curbs, etc.
 
 
v) With the continuation of Lincoln Memorial Drive south to Chicago Street, the bus queuing for Milwaukee County Transit Service buses will be shifted east to be closer to the Henry Maier Festival Grounds main gate.  As Harbor Drive connects mid-point to the extended Lincoln Memorial Drive, a pedestrian and bicycle only lane will continue through to Chicago Street, ensuring a high level of connection and access between the Lakefront and the Third Ward.
 
vi) The new Clybourn Boulevard east of Van Buren Street will be transformed from the current dead end street configuration into a high quality urban boulevard, extended east of Lincoln Memorial Drive to Art Museum Drive, close to the lakefront and terminated with the vista of Discovery World. While the south space (Urban Park) is reduced a minimal amount, the new central space area to the Lakefront Gateway Plaza is significantly increased.
 

vii) Many new options and multiple bike facilities (on-street, shared path, trails) in each direction (north-south, east-west) will be a part of the plan.  A "bike hub" is contemplated at the convergence of multiple trails near the north entrance to Lakeshore State Park. To see the map developed in the design process, click HERE.


Current Status

 

A Preferred Alternative – Phase 1 & Phase 2 has been Indentified
The preferred alternative realigns the east\west IH 794 Lake In­terchange service ramps to/from N. Lincoln Memorial Drive to a new intersection with Harbor Drive; extends N. Lincoln Memorial Drive to the south to Chicago Street; and reconstructs E. Clybourn Street as a two-way boulevard between Van Buren Street and Dis­covery World. This alternative is preferred because it enhances the accessibility and attractiveness of the area and increases the amount of land that could be used for new building development. This alternative improves pedestrian, bicycle, and vehicular ac­cess to the lakefront and improves the system linkage between the lakefront and the Third Ward. This preferred alternative is sup­ported by local government and meets the purpose of need for the project at a reasonable cost. The design of Michigan Street and Cass Street is not yet complete and will be available for review and comment at future public involvement meetings.
*Click to enlarge