The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) has been studying the feasibility of including a bike and pedestrian lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project.
The construction slated to begin in 2013 offers the possibility for this once-in-a-generation project to move forward and be absorbed in the overall cost of reconstruction. If action is not taken now we will likely not have the opportunity again for more than 40 years.
The Hoan Bridge is crucial to our neighbors as it is the transit artery connecting south side residents to the rest of their community, including downtown Milwaukee.
Expanding access to the Hoan Bridge by adding a user-friendly bike lane that is separated from traffic would be a beneficial addition to our community. The proposed project would be the last major piece to complete a trail network, which runs from Downtown Chicago through Milwaukee and up to Sheboygan.
Growing support from the business community illustrates that this final link is an economic tool that could assist our local and state economy by increasing access to businesses, helping employees get to work and bringing in additional tourism dollars. Community members have also been vocal about making their support for the project known. In just the last two weeks alone over 1,100 neighbors joined thousands of others by signing on to the Petition to Bike the Hoan.
In their recently released feasibility study on including a bike and pedestrian lane as part of the Hoan Bridge reconstruction project, DOT included different construction plans and cost estimates. Overall, these plans estimate that adding a bike lane to the Hoan Bridge would cost as little as less than 2 percent of the funds allotted for the reconstruction. It is also possible that federal funding could be available to help cover costs of adding a bike and pedestrian lane to the Hoan Bridge.
In choosing a final project proposal, it is important to keep in mind what the best fit is for the scope and cost of the project, and also what option will ensure safe travel for everybody. I
State Rep. Chris Larson is a Democrat from Milwaukee.