On Friday at 3:15 p.m., Mayor Tom Barrett and Alds Jose Perez and Tony Zielinski will lead a toast to celebrate the re-opening of the South 1st Street Bascule Bridge over the Kinnickinnic River, just north of the Lincoln Warehouse.
The bridge was closed since July 2017 for work that, according to the Department of Public Works website, included, "demolition of the bridge and related components. Improvements to the bridge (were) made to the existing structural, electrical, and mechanical components" of the bridge, which was erected in 1957.
"The project also includes improvements to the roadway approach to the bridge and the bridge house, and aesthetic enhancements such as lighting on the bridge. Two solid surface lanes will be added to accommodate bicyclists. A navigable waterway (was) maintained for the duration of the project."
The rehabilitated bridge sits adjacent to the site of Michels’ recently announced R1ver development along the KK River in the southern part of the city’s Harbor District.
In addition to the toast (4-1-4, let’s have one more!), the bridge completion ceremony will also include music and Transfer pizza, compliments of Enlightened Brewing Company, Sven Pro and the Lincoln Warehouse.
The ceremony will be held on the south approach to the bridge, but note that the bridge will be in the up position and will be lowered after the event. So, if you’re coming from the north, remember to take an alternate route to the ceremony.
Why all the hoopla when the city seems to constantly be working on a bridge somewhere in town (the Wells Street Bridge is still being completed)? Who knows, but, hey, free Transfer pizza!
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.