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Construction Bid Expected to Save Taxpayers $35 Million

01/08/24 01:00:pm

Contact: Bill Graffin

MMSD Public Information Manager

(414) 225-2077

Part of Project to Clean 100+ Years of Toxic Pollution from Milwaukee Waterways

(Milwaukee) – A Wisconsin company is expected to get the award for a historic project after submitting a $115 million low bid to do work that experts estimated could cost $150 million. 

Commissioners of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) will vote on January 22, 2024, on whether to accept the low bid from Michels Construction to build a 42-acre storage facility to permanently and safely contain pollution that is currently spread out in sediment in three rivers and the Milwaukee Estuary Area of Concern (AOC).  

“Wisconsin’s economic engine is getting an environmental overhaul, a $450 million undertaking that will benefit everyone in this part of the state and make the region a better place to live, grow, and play,” said MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer. “This cleanup helps protect drinking water for millions of people, public health, the environment, and it addresses navigational needs.”

Referred to as a “Dredged Material Management Facility” (DMMF), the new storage space will be located next to an existing sediment storage facility on Jones Island that does not have room for all the additional sediment that will be generated by the AOC cleanup.

map of proposed dredged materials management facility


The DMMF is recognized as the most environmentally sound and economically feasible option for permanently containing sediment from the cleanup. By using a vacuum-type dredging operation and hydraulically pumping sediment to the disposal area, trucking will be greatly reduced, saving approximately 1 million gallons of diesel fuel and significant wear and tear on roads. Once constructed, the 42-acre facility will be owned by the City of Milwaukee.

DMMF construction is expected to get started in the summer of 2024, with project completion anticipated in late 2026 to early 2027.  

Most of the overall project funding of $450 million is coming from partners at the federal and state level. MMSD estimates the total cost of the DMMF is $126 million, including planning, design, construction, insurance, and staff time.



Learn More About the Milwaukee Area of Concern