MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - State officials say they’ll start making repairs in October to Milwaukee’s crumbling Hoan Bridge. Transportation Secretary Frank Busalacchi issued a statement Tuesday morning that ended months of uncertainty over when the bridge would be fixed.
Earlier this month, the DOT said it would add more netting under the bridge to catch the falling chunks of concrete before they hit a sewage plant and the Port of Milwaukee. That upset many local officials, who said the state should go ahead with earlier plans to replace the concrete-and-steel deck.
That work would cost $240 million, and a designing of the project has been held back. The repairs announced Tuesday would cost $12 to $17 million, and they’ll take a year to finish.
It’s not known how long the repairs might delay an eventual replacement of the Hoan Bridge – which connects downtown Milwaukee to the south suburbs. Experts previously said the bridge replacement could not be held off past the end of 2011.
The DOT rejected suggestions from two legislators that it use part of the federal stimulus money for the proposed new high-speed train from Milwaukee to Madison. The DOT said it was not possible, and the state would have to pay back anything it takes.