Mayor Tom Barrett and Department of City Development Commissioner Rocky Marcoux announced today the successful completion of the city’s largest environmental clean up project. The project remediated environmental problems at a 140-acre site, just east of Miller Park in the Menomonee Valley. The property is being redeveloped as a new business park and recreation area.
“The vacant eyesore of the 1980’s is gone and finally the renewal can begin,” said Mayor Tom Barrett. While a congressman, Mayor Barrett secured $3 million in federal brownfield grants to clean up the former Milwaukee Road Shops site. “Milwaukee’s most visible eyesore is now one of our most visible opportunities to attract jobs to this city.”
The site was formerly a rail yard and contained several manufacturing plants, employing 3,000 Milwaukeeans in the early 1900’s. The Milwaukee Road owned the land until the railroad went bankrupt in 1977.
The $20 million clean up project included 23 federal and state brownfield grants to address the contaminated soil, old foundations and miles of relic brick sewers. Asbestos was removed and the soil was capped to protect human health and the environment. Excess soil from the Marquette Interchange work will be added to portions of the site, keeping the road project costs down and aiding in the redevelopment of the land.
DCD Commissioner Marcoux said the Milwaukee Road Shops site will soon become the best industrial real estate in Wisconsin, offering superior infrastructure and amenities. The site is expected to attract 800-1350 high paying jobs within the next five years.
Sale of the land to manufacturing companies will begin in spring of 2005 with construction to begin in 2006.
Meanwhile, work will begin on Wisconsin’s most innovative natural stormwater treatment system adjacent to the new business park and Menomonee River. The park will help businesses in the new park meet stormwater regulations. The land is expected to capture every drop of rain that falls on the business park. “Stormwater Park” will feature native plantings that can filter and cleanse all the stormwater run-off from the 100-acre business park.
“Stormwater Park” will be dedicated to a mix of play fields, gathering space, natural areas, river access and the Hank Aaron State Trail.
To learn more about efforts to redevelop the Menomonee Valley, click onto www.RenewTheValley.org.