Kinnickinnic River Rehabilitation and Neighborhood Plan Overview

Kinnickinnic River Rehabilitation and Neighborhood Plan Overview

The neighborhood is changing.  The Kinnickinnic River does not look like a river and does not function like a river.  It has looked like a concrete-lined drainage ditch for the last 50 years.  The concrete was put into the river to reduce flooding into homes along the river.  Unfortunately, homes are still flooding.  The river cannot handle the flooding from large storms anymore.  The area around the river has become unsafe for kids playing near the concrete lined channel as well as adults.  Trees and bushes have grown up around the river and have made visibility difficult, increasing fears about crime. Not only will the river change but the neighborhood will be a better place to live!

What is the plan?

  • The concrete is going to be ripped up and removed from the river.  It will look like a river, not a ditch.
  • Homes are being bought and will be deconstructed to move them out of the area where the river floods.
  • Removing the concrete is a large part of the plan but there are other things that we can do now to start improving the area.

Why is this important to me?

  • Safety– An improved river neighborhood will make it safer for children and families.
  • Recreation– Improvements in parks, walking paths, bike paths and fishing areas on the river will mean more fun for the community and more people around who care about their neighborhood.
  • Health– When the river floods, the water can contain harmful bacteria from sewer overflows and can make people very sick.  We all depend on clean water to survive.  Our drinking water comes from our rivers and lakes.  A cleaner river represents a healthier community.
  • This is a large project.  You will notice changes in your neighborhood (some big, some small).
  • We want to help make this an even better neighborhood but we need your help and ideas.

When will it start?     

  • It already has.  The removal and reconstruction of the 6th Street Bridge is the beginning part of removing the concrete and changing the river.

When will it end? 

  • The project will be going on for at least the next five years.

Who is involved?

Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District (MMSD)

This regional government agency provides flood management services, waste water treatment and water quality research.  They will be buying houses, deconstructing houses, and removing the concrete from the river.

Kinnickinnic River Implementation Coalition (KRIC)

This is a group of five non-profit organizations working with MMSD, the City and others on the smaller projects that will happen before the concrete is removed.  Some of these projects are community gardens, public art projects, and stormwater projects.  The five organizations are The Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, Groundwork Milwaukee, Southside Organizing Committee, Milwaukee Christian Center and The Lincoln Village Business Association.

Who can I call with questions, ideas, or comments?

Nadia Bogue
Environmental Project Coordinator
Sixteenth Street Community Health Center