30th Street Industrial Corridor streetscaping to begin next year

The first major signs of the City of Milwaukee’s efforts to revitalize the 30th Street Industrial Corridor will be seen next year. That’s when work on a streetscaping project along Capitol Drive between 27th Street and 35th Street will begin. The city is providing a $500,000 grant and a $500,000 loan to the corridor’s business improvement district (BID) for the project.

The streetscaping improvements will include decorative crosswalks, street furniture, new trash cans, harp lights, enhanced gateways, traffic calming street bump-outs, signs, rain gardens, trees and other landscaping amenities.

The Capitol Drive project is expected to be complete in 2009. It will be the first phase of a 10-year streetscaping improvement plan for the corridor. Other streets that the corridor’s BID hopes to improve are Fond du Lac Avenue, Hopkins, Burleigh, Locust, 27th, 35th, Center and Townsend Streets.

Improving the aesthetics of the streets will help attract businesses to the 30th Street Industrial Corridor, said BID executive director Brenna Holly.

Last year, city officials announced that the 30th Street Industrial Corridor will be the city’s next major brownfield redevelopment project. The corridor once had several manufacturers along the old SOO Line Railroad tracks. Many of those companies moved or went out of business, leaving brownfields behind in a part of the central city with a high level of crime and a desperate need for more jobs. However, some companies remain in the corridor, including DRS Power & Control Technologies Inc., Master Lock Co. and Eaton Corp.

In 2005, businesses in the corridor formed the BID, which district hired Madison-based Schreiber Anderson Associates to do the design work for the streetscape improvements.

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