Lake Park Friends has announced a ceremony for the Ravine Road Bridge, which reopened last month to pedestrians for the first time in six years.
The event will be held on the bridge at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, and will include remarks by local officials, a Champagne toast and ribbon cutting, and Refreshments provided by Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro.
The 1905 span and Ravine Road below were closed in 2014 after cracks were found in the concrete bridge and soil erosion discovered around the bridge’s supports.
Although the bridge was later reopened to foot traffic – as the road remained closed – it was closed again in 2016.
Work to repair the bridge ran to $4.4 million, which was funded in part by $2 million in federal money.
Lake Park Friends has committed $300,000 for bridge maintenance over the next five decades.
“We are extremely grateful to our donors, Milwaukee County and Supervisor Sheldon Wasserman for working to ensure the restoration of this historic landmark,” said Lake Park Friends President Anne Hamilton in announcing the grand reopening event.
Lake Park, the only Milwaukee County Park listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.
The concrete bridge has long been attributed to landmark Milwaukee architect Alfred Clas and his firm Ferry & Clas, though one researcher suggests that the firm may have been the architect of record rather than the actual designer.
Either way, it’s a stunning design and a welcome connector of the two banks of the park’s largest ravine.
Waukesha-based Zenith Tech was lead contractor on the restoration.
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 has be heard on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories, in that station's most popular podcast.