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  • The Michigan Street Bridge is now open to traffic. The contractor will continue to work on minor electrical items, install the metal grating in the piers, and finish the interior of the bridge house. Thank you for your patience during this rehabilitation project. (Added 7/31/20)

  • The contractor is finalizing the installation of the remaining bridge components. The last round of testing will be completed early next week with the anticipation to have the road open to traffic by the end of the day on Friday, July 31st. All work is weather dependent and subject to change. (Added 7/22/20)


  • Testing for the Michigan Street Bridge is ongoing and will continue into early July. When all tests have passed, the bridge will open to pedestrians and motorists. (Added 6/26/20)
  • Majority of the components that were delayed from the manufacturing plants due to the COVID 19 pandemic have been delivered for the Michigan Street bridge project. Over the next few weeks, the final components will be installed and the contractor will start testing the hydraulic, mechanical, and electrical systems to ensure proper operation. The bridge will lower and rise multiple times during this testing phase. When all tests have passed, the Michigan Street Bridge will open to pedestrians and motorists, tentatively scheduled by the end of the month. (Added 6/9/20)


  • The Michigan Street bridge rehabilitation project is experiencing delays due to supply chain issues for materials coming from Louisiana and California. The manufacturing plants where the components are being made have been impacted by Stay at Home orders and the COVID 19 pandemic. The contractor continues to work on all components that can be done without these materials. The concrete roadway pavement, sidewalk, curb and gutter have been poured. Over the next several weeks, the contractor will blast and paint the remaining bridge steel, and install bridge railings, stairs to the bridge house, and decorative and navigation lighting. The bridge will be lowered one time to allow the contractor to do the final concrete pour. Once complete, the bridge will be placed back in the lifted position to allow navigation on the river. We anticipate the roadway opening by mid-June. (Added 5/4)


  • The contractor is planning to pour concrete on the west approach span on Friday, March 6th, weather permitting, and it will take one week to cure. By March 6th, the installation of the bridge roof house will be complete. Through the week of March 9th, the contractor will frame the deck on the east approach span to pour the concrete during the week of March 16th. Hydraulic piping, and cantilever beam installation has started on the lift span. We anticipate pouring concrete on the lift span on March 20th, weather permitting. Electrical work throughout the project has been ongoing. Currently, we anticipate the roadway opening at the end of May. (Added 3/4)


  • The West Michigan Street Bridge rehabilitation project will continue through the winter as weather permits. Over the next several weeks, the contractor will install the sidewalk framing on the lift span and continue replacing steel beams. The off-site roof fabrication for the bridge house is nearly complete and will be installed in early January. Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) has started the second phase of rehabilitation work on their structures, east of the bridge, with the anticipated completion in mid-January. The contractor will then remove the east approach span deck. (12/18)


  • The painting operation for the lift span started mid-September and was completed by October 8th. Crews continue to repair the concrete piers and work inside the bridge house on the new electrical components. The roof fabrication for the bridge house is taking place off-site and exterior repairs to the bridge house will begin at the end of this month. Over the next several weeks, the contractor will install the lateral bracing steel and lifting leg brackets. Starting November 4th, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) will begin the first phase of rehabilitation work on their structures, west of the bridge. We anticipate the first phase of MMSD work to be completed by Thanksgiving. 


  • The contractor has removed the existing structural, electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components on the lift span. Crews continue to repair the concrete piers and are working inside the bridge house on the new electrical components. The contractor will begin painting the lift span starting the week of September 16th, and will take a few weeks to complete. Please anticipate noise during the painting operation. It will be similar to an air compressor or vacuum cleaner, as opposed to the sound of a jack hammer. 


The Department of Public Works will conduct a rehabilitation project of the Michigan Street Vertical Lift Bridge over the Milwaukee River. The vertical lift bridge was built in 1978 and serves as one of the main arteries that connect Milwaukee's Downtown and Westown neighborhoods. The rehabilitation project will upgrade, and replace as needed, the existing structural, electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components, the bridge house and the roadway approach.

New traffic barrier railings will be constructed between the sidewalks and the roadway and the pedestrian railings on the outside of the sidewalks will be replaced with new railings. A solid surface deck will be installed on the lift span for a bicycle friendly surface. 


Traffic: The Michigan Street bridge will be closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic during construction. Eastbound traffic will be re-routed to East Wisconsin Avenue from North Plankinton Avenue on the west side of the bridge and westbound traffic will be re-routed to East Clybourn Street from North Water Street on the east side of the bridge. 

Driveway Access: City staff and the contractor will work to minimize the amount of time any driveway access is restricted and will notify property owners 48 hours in advance of any driveway work.

Pedestrian Access: Although no pedestrians will be allowed to travel over the bridge during construction, pedestrians will be able to travel to those properties and businesses that abut the bridge during construction, with the least amount of inconvenience. A detour route will guide pedestrians to the two nearest bridges, Wisconsin Avenue and Clybourn Street bridges. 

Riverwalk Access: The Riverwalk will be closed at the bridge to pedestrians to accommodate construction. Other areas of the Riverwalk will remain open. 

Boat Access: The Milwaukee River navigation channel will remain open during construction.

Bus Route: Please visit ridemcts.com for #57 route details and schedule.

Parking: On-street parking is not allowed.

Construction Hours: Work is allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Tony Kotecki Construction Supervisor [email protected] 414-708-3886
Megan O'Connor Support for Business Liaison [email protected] 414-708-1433

Sign up to receive construction updates on this project-email [email protected] 

Start: May 2019
Completion: Spring 2020
*All work is weather dependent and subject to change

Project Overview

Public Involvement Meeting

The City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works held a public involvement meeting to receive input and share project details with residents and businesses located in the project area. 

November 13, 2018
City Hall, Room 301-B
200 East Wells Street
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

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