The total cost is estimated to be $5.37 million. Heck, it’s only (your) money, right? – Jerry B
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District would spend $3.98 million to remove 1,100 feet of concrete from the bed of the Menomonee River north of Wisconsin Ave., and eliminate a barrier to fish passage between Lake Michigan and upstream stretches of the river, under a proposed contract to be awarded this month.
The district’s commission will be asked to award the contract on May 20 to C. W. Purpero Inc. of Oak Creek, the lowest bidder. The commission’s Operations Committee recommended approving the contract at its regular meeting Monday.
A 58-foot-wide concrete channel, from the Wisconsin Ave. bridge upstream to the Canadian Pacific Railway bridge, was constructed in 1965 as part of a flood control effort designed to funnel storm-swollen river flows quickly downstream.
The channel in this section of the river created a steep chute with fast-flowing water even in dry weather that is impassable for most fish. Fish stack up in the river below Wisconsin Ave. as they struggle against extreme current.
The concrete river bed upstream of Wisconsin Ave. is deteriorated and should be removed, officials said.
As part of the contract, workers will restore a more natural, meandering stream bed with rock riffles and pools for fish to rest.
The project will open 17 miles of the main river – through Wauwatosa to Lepper Dam at Mill Pond Park in Menomonee Falls – to fish migration.
Work could begin by early August if the contract is awarded later this month, said Tom Chapman, MMSD watercourse section manager.
Total cost of the project, including design and engineering services, is estimated at $5.37 million. The district has received $1.3 million in federal grants to help pay costs of the project.