Phoebe Crisman [ designed in collaboration with Crisman + Petrus Architects and LaDallman Architects ]

CrossRoads project: Infrastructure Grove / Rock Garden / Marsupial Bridge

The CrossRoads Project began with a focus on the diversity of crossings that occur
around the intersection of Brady Street and North Water Street. As a crossroads of
cultures, cars, activities and neighborhoods, this area of Milwaukee is central to
significant historical and emerging new neighborhoods across the Milwaukee River
to the west. Currently the Holton Street Viaduct effectively provides vehicular
circulation between both banks, but pedestrian and bicycle movement is poorly
supported. To this end, three interrelated components of the overall CrossRoads
Project together provide and promote a new pedestrian crossing of the Milwaukee
River. Although relatively modest in size and expenditure the catalytic impact of the
project's pieces will be immense.

This portion of the CrossRoads Initiative is an interrelated series of three singularly
conceived, but sequential and separately funded projects (including funding from a
Community Development Block Grant, Department of Public Works, Milwaukee
Metropolitan Sewerage District, Brady Street Business Improvement District, etc.).
Their function will be to facilitate commuter and recreational pedestrian and bicycle
links between established and developing neighborhoods to the north and west, the
Brady Street commercial district and neighborhood, the Lakefront, Downtown and the
future development at the site of the Park East Freeway spur's pending demolition.

Facilitating movement, the "Infrastructure Grove" will lead the pedestrian along a
promenade beginning at the corner of Brady Street and North Holton Street past a
series of active city infrastructure objects, along side the Holton Street Viaduct,
and down to the corner of North Water Street and East Pearson Street. The
pedestrian is introduced to the garden by a bus shelter designed to create gateway,
provide shelter and allow respite for a passerby. Rather than shielding the pedestrian
from the telephone poles, generator, stairway leading up to the roadway of the viaduct,
and pumping station that exist along the passage, they will be celebrated as parts of the
garden. A consistent theme linking the objects will be achieved by applying a common
material, likely perforated metal screen.

The underside of the historic viaduct, constructed of intricately configured steel members,
will serve as a dramatically up-lit sheltered public space and transportation link. A palette
of varied paving materials (approx. 5000 s.f.) will divide the ground plane at the "Rock
Garden"into zones for movement and rest. Because the space beneath the viaduct is not
supportive of plant life, a sublime landscape of stones and seating boulders will visually
connect with the existing stone riprap retaining walls that descend to the river.

The historic Holton Street Viaduct across the Milwaukee River will support a new 10' wide,
650' long pedestrian/bicycle Marsupial Bridge suspended beneath. The proposed bridge
will connect with the Beerline Trail (federally funded by a Congestion & Air Quality Grant)
parallel to Commerce Street to the west, and continue eastward across Water Street to
connect with Brady Street, the Milwaukee County Oak Leaf Trail and Lake Michigan. The
bridge will launch from a 120' x 270' approach area on the East Bank, and will touch down
on a 40' x 120' landing on the West Bank. A 22' change in grade will require a terraced
connection to the Beerline Bicycle Trail below.