Major makeover for Milwaukee lakefront downtown

CREATED Mar 11, 2013 - UPDATED: Mar 11, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Lakefront will have a new look, based on an announcement by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Mayor Tom Barrett and Governor Scott Walker.

The new plan will include expanses of green space between the Milwaukee Art Museum and Summerfest, a pedestrian bridge around Lincoln Memorial Drive and Michigan Street, a revamp of I-794 and an extension of Lincoln Memorial Drive into the Third Ward.

The picture seen at the left shows condominiums, apartments, and office space as well, including high rise towers.

"This was the situation where not only the city and the county, (but the) state that would advance their best interest," said Barrett.

"We would cover the cost of the city streets, but the state needed to cover the cost of the highway."

The price tag is, so far, a combined $50 million.

"If you think of the heart of the business in the state, Milwaukee is the biggest artery that pumps blood into that gateway when it comes to business," explained Walker.

Construction will also lead to more jobs in Milwaukee.

"It's fair to estimate that hundreds of workers will be part of the construction we are announcing today," said Barrett.  "The work they will do sets the stage for hundreds of permanent jobs."

Some of the construction work could start in fall 2013.