A public information meeting on the future of the 1905 Alfred Clas-designed Lake Park Ravine Road footbridge has been set for Tuesday, July 19 at 5 p.m. in the meeting room beneath Lake Park Bistro. Testimony will be heard from the community.
According to a post on the Historic Water Tower Neighborhood association's website, there are new hopes for saving the existing bridge rather than replacing it or doing away with it altogether.
HWTN points first to a report by Minnesota-based historic bridge restoration company Olson & Nesvold Engineers that says a "reasonable rehabilitation option" could extend the life of the bridge by 40 to 50 years.
Last month, Wisconsin's State Historic Preservation Office said that Milwaukee County Parks "must demonstrate that (the) bridge cannot be feasibly repaired" before it can look at other options.
It added that because the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed park is on the National Register of Historic Places, "A new construction design is not appropriate and will result in an adverse effect to the historic parkway property."
Finally, HWTN notes that "supporters have identified federal grants available to pay for most of the cost of repairs, greatly reducing cost to county property taxpayers. In contrast, the cost of replacing the bridge would need to be fully borne by county property taxpayers – the grants cannot be used for replacement or demolition."
Go to the meeting for further updates and to make your voice heard.
In the meantime, Ravine Road – the curving, wooded byway spanned by the bridge – remains closed until the bridge is repaired, replaced or removed.
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.