Commentary: Hoan has long life ahead
Published: July 3, 2009
To the editor:
This is our second summer dealing with those who have an agenda to remove the Hoan Bridge, a bridge named for former Milwaukee Mayor Daniel Hoan who had the vision of connecting the north and south sides of our city and county.
While many of us enjoy summer festivals under this great arch, Alderman Robert Bauman of Milwaukee plans to introduce a Common Council resolution in July asking the state to build a new, smaller Hoan Bridge that is 40 feet tall, compared to the current 125-foot-tall freeway. Such a bridge would require a lift bridge or other device to permit shipping to enter our ports.
The Hoan Bridge has become part of the landscape of our city. The Hoan is a young bridge that has many years remaining in its life expectancy. There is an agenda being floated by some to change course before this bridge can be re-decked for its next two decades of life.
At the county level, I have requested the County Board’s Transportation and Public Works Committee schedule this item on our September calendar to address these objectives. I hope my colleagues hear from our citizens on the importance of maintaining the Hoan. I will not support selling county land for expansion of the Zoo Interchange until our current assets, like the Hoan Bridge, are maintained.
Our South Shore communities have experienced billions of dollars of development since the Hoan Bridge was built. I have received from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission a footprint for the extension of the 794 freeway to Ryan Road, and am calling on the Department of Transportation to discontinue studies on demolition of the bridge and instead begin to fund the completion of this South Shore asset.
Funds can come from a toll road from the Wisconsin/Illinois state line to the County line. My constituents understand the need to collect money from snowbirds that earned their pensions here but no longer pay state taxes and only return to enjoy our parks and festivals. Many of these individuals visit Milwaukee County from places that already charge tolls to tourists from Wisconsin.
Milwaukee County Board