By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Nov 04, 2022 at 10:02 AM

The Department of City Development (DCD) has released renderings of a proposed Riverwalk extension in the Harbor District.

Work on the nearly three-quarters of a mile extension – mostly along the Kinnickinnic River – alongside the new Komatsu Mining Headquarters building is expected to begin early next year.

It will include an extension of Harbor View Plaza, a trestle section and a connection to Kinnickinnic Avenue.

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Plans for the plan – for which the city has committed $14.5 million for design and construction – were prepared by SmithGroup and will be taken up by the City Plan Commission on Monday, Nov. 7.

The segment would be the second in the Harbor District to be accessible to the public. The first opened earlier this year at the River1 development on the edge of Bay View.

“A decade ago, the community asked for more equitable access to the waterfront, and this project embodies that. Milwaukee Harbor District incorporated the community's ideas and suggestions into the plans being reviewed by the City Plan Commission,” said Tia Torhorst, CEO of Harbor District and Director of Business Improvement District #51.

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“We are excited to be advancing a design that not only incorporates features like public restrooms and areas for community partners to use, but one that is beautiful, welcoming and accessible to everyone in our community,”

Construction of the public-private Riverwalk project began in 1993.

Originally proposed as part of the Harbor District Water and Land Use Plan in the City of Milwaukee Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 2018, the segment will have a restrooms in a container-style building that will also have a shaded stage.

It will also include the a 3,000-square-foot aquatic habitat called The Node, that will bring new landscaping and native plants, as well as access to the water for visitors.

Read more here about The Node here, which garnered $128,000 in funding from the State of Wisconsin’s Coastal Management Program this summer.

“Our waterways are a great natural resource, and as we add connections to the water, we celebrate this asset. Milwaukee’s Riverwalks have become centers of commerce and recreation that add to the vitality of the city,” said Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson upon release of the renderings.

“I believe in the power of partnerships, and that’s what the Harbor District Riverwalk is all about. Through the efforts of City government, local businesses and organizations, and residents that call our waterfronts home, the Harbor District Riverwalk will add value to the neighborhood and city’s waterways for decades to come.”

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Another new segment of Harbor District Riverwalk was approved in May a bit further north. That section is also expected to be completed in 2023.

“The significant momentum in the Harbor District is creating exciting new opportunities for residents, businesses, and workers. The Department of City Development continues working to expand and improve Milwaukee’s Riverwalk system, and the Harbor District extension is the latest example,” said Milwaukee City Development Commissioner Lafayette Crump.

“With the leadership of Mayor Johnson and the partnership of Komatsu, the Harbor District, and many engaged Milwaukeeans, we are offering more educational opportunities in the harbor, promoting equity on our waterfronts, and allowing our youth to experience everything Milwaukee has to offer."

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

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 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.