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"Lakefront Gateway Project" plans to transform Milwaukee's downtown

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Interstate 794 west end in downtown Milwaukee. (courtesy of Wikimedia commons)
Interstate 794 west end in downtown Milwaukee. (courtesy of Wikimedia commons)

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Milwaukee’s downtown skyline is expected to undergo a big change, as the result of new road work announced Monday for the city’s Lakefront.

Governor Scott Walker, Mayor Tom Barrett, and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele announced a deal that will pave the way for at least three large new buildings – a 44-story hotel and apartment complex, Northwestern Mutual Life’s proposed 30-story structure, and a 17-story office building.

It’s being called the “Lakefront Gateway Project.”

The deal was announced at a news conference, and lakefront development advocate Michael Cudahy said it would literally change Milwaukee.

The state would pay to move ramps on and off of Interstate 794 near the downtown Hoan Bridge – something the state originally wanted the city to pick up for $16 million.

The city would pay to extend Lincoln Memorial Drive close to Milwaukee’s lakefront from the downtown southward into Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

There would also be new pedestrian bridges crossing Lincoln Memorial Drive at two locations.

The state DOT says construction work could begin this fall in the Hoan Bridge area – and all the road work would be finished by the summer of 2016. 

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