Federal funds sought for Lakefront Gateway Project

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The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the City of Milwaukee are applying for $22 million in federal funds to help pay for the $34 million Lakefront Gateway Project.

WisDOT and the city are applying for federal funds through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Selections for the grants are expected to be announced this fall.

The city and state have already allocated funds for most of the Lakefront Gateway project, which will include a reconfigured Lake Interchange to create a potential development site southwest of Clybourn Street and Lincoln Memorial Drive, the extension of Lincoln Memorial Drive into the Historic Third Ward, the extension of Clybourn Street to Discovery World and additional street improvements in the area. Those components of the project will move forward whether or not federal funds are awarded, said WisDOT project manager Carolynn Gellings.

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But if federal funds are awarded for the project, the money could be used to reduce the city and state costs. The funds could also be used for the as of yet unfunded third phase of the project, which includes a pedestrian bridge connecting O’Donnell Park, the future Couture development and the lakefront; improvements to Urban Park north of the Summerfest grounds and creation of a Gateway Plaza north of Urban Park and west of Discovery World.
Information about the project, including possible designs for the pedestrian bridge, was displayed at a public involvement meeting Tuesday.

Construction for the Lakefront Gateway Project will begin in 2015, when work on the reconstruction of the Hoan Bridge is complete.

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