Lighting up the Hoan Bridge: am I crazy, or is this kinda neat?
A million bucks to light up the Hoan Bridge? To some folks, it sounds like a waste of money.
Strikes me as kinda neat.
Milwaukee's BizTimes ran the story Friday and reporter Andrew Weiland rightly pointed out in the opening paragraph that the plan had pretty much escaped media scrutiny.
What started out as a bridge to nowhere is now a key link between downtown and the southside. And, as Weiland says, it's not going anywhere. The Hoan has its detractors who want it torn down but the state is re-decking it soon. It's part of the city's skyline, but as Weiland says, it vanishes at night. Other cities light up their landmarks--the DOT did it with the Marquette Interchange--but we allow one of our signature structures to disappear at sundown.
About the cost: the state is already making a $278 million investment in the thing so why not spend a little extra to show it off?
Downtown is on a roll and more good things are coming. Lincoln Memorial Drive is getting redone, new buildings will replace the transit monstrosity at the lakefront and Summerfest is all tricked up with new stages. People are actually living in that part of the city again, as well as in its surrounding neighborhoods. Why not spruce the place up a little bit?
The Hoan is part of what we are--it's backstory is Milwaukee legend, its future usefulness assured. Why hide it?