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Public meeting about Hoan Bridge/I-794 project on Wednesday

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Public meeting about Hoan Bridge/I-794 project on Wednesday

By the WTMJ News Team. CREATED Apr 25, 2012 - UPDATED: Apr 25, 2012

MILWAUKEE - You can find out more about renovations to the Hoan Bridge and give suggestions to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation on Wednesday night.

The DOT was to hold a public information meeting to discuss project details for the Hoan Bridge and the I-794 rehabilitation project.

It has been several decades since the Hoan Bridge has had major repairs.  The DOT says it wants to extend the life of the bridge that is an iconic symbol of the city.

"Every advertisement features the golden arches of the Hoan Bridge," said Bay View Democratic State Senator Christine Sinicki.

Those arches are aging and cracking, and 40,000 drivers go over the bridge every day.

Sinicki serves the Coalition To Save the Hoan Bridge.  She saw the need for repairs after a phone call from her mother.

"She called me when she got to work and said, 'Chris, the darndest thing just happened.  She said I was just on the bridge and I felt like it had dropped.' "

That call came in 2000.  While there is no need for emergency repairs now, the DOT wants to extend the life of the bridge.

The construction would start in 2013 and end in 2016.

"That includes replacing the deck, repainting steel and doing other structural modifications," said project manager Carolynn Gellings.

A series of public meetings in past years had discussed removal of the bridge, but it is staying put.

"How people are going to feel impacted, what concerns they might have, where they travel in downtown Milwaukee," explained Gellings.

The bridge would also be rebuilt between Lincoln Avenue and the Lake Interchange.

The controversial idea of putting a bike and pedestrian bridge up has also been placed off the table.

"There were better ways to spend the money because of the large costs," said Gellings.

The meeting has been scheduled for 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the DOT office on the 1000 block of West St. Paul Avenue.