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Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Over the Milwaukee River

Project Update (8/9/12)

The Wisconsin Avenue Bridge is open to traffic!  On August 9, Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Robert Bauman and other honored guests held opening ceremonies and cut the ribbon.  The rehabilitation of the structural, mechanical, hydraulic and electrical components of the lift span and all other work has been completed.  Details of the work and work progress are below. 

Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Grand Opening - Media Release

   Mayor Tom Barrett, Alderman Robert Bauman and City Engineer Jeff Polenske participate in the opening ceremony (8/9/12)


The Ribbon Cutting (8/9/12)

Final touches before the opening (8/8/12)


Checking to see that everthing's ready (8/8/12)

 Wisconsin Avenue Bridge Grand Opening - Media Release 



The bridge awaiting traffic (8/11/12)

The bridge raised for the arrival of a boat (8/11/12)


Project Summary

The rehabilitation of the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge includes major rehabilitation of the structural, mechanical, hydraulic and electrical components of the lift span, removal and replacement of the concrete deck and sidewalks on the fixed approach spans; rehabilitation of the existing bridge railings, installation of new railings, painting structural steel, repairs to the concrete substructure units, repairs to the structural, architectural, HVAC, plumbing and electrical components of the bridge house, and minor reconstruction of portions of the roadway approaches to the bridge. The bridge will be closed on or after October 3, 2011 and is scheduled to be opened on or before August 3, 2012. 

Project Update (July 6, 2012)

The Wisconsin Ave bridge rehabilitation work is nearing completion. Many of the major bridge components have already been successfully replaced or repaired. Remaining major work items include pouring of the concrete lift deck, installation of mechanical and hydraulic lifting systems and controls and field testing and adjustments.

The contractor’s schedule has been monitored throughout the project and has continually indicated completion within the contractual date of August 3, 2012.  City, WisDOT and FHWA oversight of this project as well as third party construction management inspectors have monitored, verified and documented the completion and timeline of the contractor’s progress.
However, as the project enters the critical final stage to put all the pieces together and successfully operate the bridge, the contractor has identified some final installation sequencing and scheduling conflicts that may extend completion an additional 1-2 weeks. The contractor is exploring all opportunities to expedite the final installation and testing to ensure the bridge is completed as soon as possible.
The Contractor’s progress towards completion will continue to be closely monitored and progress will be reported on this website. 


Project Update May 10, 2012

The rehabilitation of the Wisconsin Avenue Bridge is proceeding on schedule.  The bridge is expected to be opened to traffic on or before August 3 as originally announced.

Most of the structural work has been completed.  Installation of the structural steel for the lift span is nearing completion.  The concrete approach spans have been poured and most of the painting is done.  The concrete surface repairs of the piers and abutments have been completed.

Next steps include installation of the solid roadway deck and installation of the new electrical, hydraulic and mechanical components for the lift span.


Project Update October 5, 2011

Preliminary work under the bridge, including erecting work platforms and cleaning and painting the steel on the existing approach spans, was completed and the bridge was closed to traffic on October 3.  The first major steps in the rehabilitation project include demolishing the bridge deck, installing the main span underdecking, and beginning work on the east and west approach spans.

In conjunction with the bridge closing, detour and open for business signs were installed.  Guides were developed to help pedestrians get across the river during bridge construction.  The UpDownAround guides were placed on signs near the bridge, and nearly 5,000 brochures were distributed--thanks to the Milwaukee Downtown Public Service Ambassadors! Click here to see the UpDownAround Wisconsin Avenue pedestrian guide.


Information Update: Frequently Asked Questions


Liaison's name: Jenann Olsen
Phone: 414.271.6908 | Email: [email protected]

For further information or if you would like to be added to the project email list, please send an email to the above liaison.



Work is progressing on the bridge deck span (5/10/12)


Another shot of deck span work (5/10/12)


Work is progressing on the east approach to the bridge (10/24/11)



  Equipment arriving for bridge reconstruction (10/7/11) 


 Work is progressing on the east approach to the bridge (10/24/11)

Signs have been placed to support local businesses (10/7/11)


 The Wisconsin Avenue Bridge before construction (1/1/11)


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