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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 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 414-708-3886
Megan O'Connor Support for Business Liaison 414-708-1433

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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.