Public to review plans for Menomonee Valley Passage

Passageway planned to connect valley to south side neighborhood.

A public information meeting will be held today about plans for a pedestrian bridge and underpass connecting Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley with the residential neighborhood to the south.

The meeting will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at The Rice Palace, 3730 W. National Ave., Milwaukee.

The cost for the project is estimated at $2.8 to $3 million, said Cory Zetts, program director for Menomonee Valley Partners Inc. Federal grants will pay for 80 percent of the cost. Funds from the state Department of Natural Resources will also cover a portion of the cost.

"Depending on the final cost, we will likely be seeking additional funds from grants to public and private sources," Zetts said.

The plans for the Menomonee Valley Passage call for a bridge over the Menomonee River and an underpass beneath a rail tressel. The pathway would connect to the south side neighborhood at South 37th Street and Pierce Street. The passage would include part of a tunnel that was used years ago by workers to get to the valley. The tunnel was bricked off from the Pierce Street side, but some homeless people have lived in it in recent years, said Zetts.

Several employees at Palermo Villa Inc. walk to work in the valley each day and traverse five stories of stairs from the 35th Street Bridge, she said. The Menomonee Valley Passage could be used by them and workers at other business in the valley. Employees could also use the passage to walk to lunch at restaurants along National Avenue, she said.

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