Whenever I pass the site of the rising 44-story Couture development at Michigan, Clybourn and Lincoln Memorial Drive, I'm excited to see progress.
And I wonder how soon work on the Lakefront Line of The Hop streetcar will resume to complete that section of the system, for which rails, stations and other infrastructure were built out at the same time as the currently operational part of the system, which went online in November 2018.
That work was completed under the federal TIGER grant the city received in 2015, which fully funded the L-Line at the time, too, even though it couldn't be completed until The Couture segment was ready.
Site work at The Couture began in 2021, and big progress was made on the transit center – which will host stops for both The Hop and MCTS' electric Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line, which begins service in June – last September.
So, I asked, and the folks at The Hop said that the segment that will help serve the Summerfest grounds, Lakeshore State Park, Discovery World, Milwaukee Art Museum, Harbor House restaurant, as well as the U.S. Bank, 600 East, Northwestern Mutual and Couture buildings – among others – could be operational before 2023 is over.
"As part of a longstanding agreement approved in 2015 with the federal government and the developer to complete the Lakefront Line (L-Line), we will resume construction on the unfinished portion of that extension in the coming months," reads a statement that was issued to me on Tuesday.
According to emails received by office workers in the area, work was slated to begin Monday, March 13 and is expected to last 12 to 16 weeks, leading to some traffic closures on the streets in the area.
"We anticipate that work being complete by the fall," the city statement continued. "Once complete, there will be a period of testing before we are able to open for passenger service. While we haven’t set an exact date, we expect that to be this fall as well."
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.