Milwaukee County issues RFP for Lake Park Arch Bridge

Three alternative designs sought

Lake Park Milwaukee postcard
The Lake Park footbridge in a historical postcard.

The crumbling 110-year-old Lake Park Arch Bridge over Ravine Drive in Lake Park will be getting a face lift.

Lake Park Milwaukee postcard
The Lake Park footbridge in a historical postcard.

The Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services issued a request for proposal last month for professional consulting services for planning and design for a replacement bridge. Proposals are due Friday.

The county has budgeted $400,000 to fund an in-depth inspection of the Lake Park Arch Bridge and subsequent planning and design. Based on the findings, the county will decide how to proceed, according to the RFP.

The future of the 118-foot concrete bridge has been in limbo for more than a year. GRAEF, a Milwaukee-based engineering firm, was hired to investigate bridge deterioration in September 2014, and conducted a follow-up inspection in December 2014.

At that time, the bridge was closed because of “advanced deterioration.”

GRAEF conduced an in-depth inspection in March 2015, and concluded reopening Ravine Road and the pedestrian trail below the bridge should only be allowed after significant work is completed to assure safety.

GRAEF acknowledged the historic nature of this structure may warrant rehabilitation of as many elements as possible. If county officials choose this route, it may extend the life of the bridge 15 to 25 years. Replacing the entire bridge will give it an estimated life span of about 75 years, according to the engineering report.

Construction cost estimates ranged from $1.4 million to $2.6 million.

The RFP is asking a consultant to prepare three alternative bridge replacement schematic designs and cost estimates for each. A work group, which will include members of Lake Park Friends, the historic preservation community and Milwaukee County staff, will be established to review each design.

The consultant will be selected Feb. 17 and awarded the contract Feb. 19. By June 30, a design for the bridge will be selected, according to the RFP.

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