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In July 2022, over 420 people completed a survey to provide input on design features that may be incorporated into the Kinnickinnic River restoration project between 6th – 16th streets. The design team is taking the survey feedback and incorporating it into the next phase of the design and public input. View all the survey results.
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The Kinnickinnic River 6th to 16th Street project is part of the larger Kinnickinnic River Watershed Flood Management Plan. The goals of this larger plan include:
To provide enough room to safely move floodwaters during heavy storms and to naturalize the river, the river corridor will be widened, and more than 4,000 feet of concrete channel lining will be removed and replaced with a natural stream design. To create this wider river corridor, MMSD is acquiring and removing 83 homes and partnering with the City of Milwaukee to modify several city-owned bridges and utilities.
MMSD is also partnering with Sixteenth Street Community Health Center to engage and obtain feedback from the community. One recent example of this collaboration is the creation of a transitional space on former vacant properties acquired for the project. The KK River Plaza is a space that was developed with multiple partners as a temporary community space that residents can enjoy during the projects’ initial design phase. The space includes a gravel trail, natural playground, community garden beds, and artwork depicting images of water deities from different cultures represented in the neighborhood. Eventually, this space will be reshaped as part of the expanded river.
The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is partnering with the City of Milwaukee, Sixteenth Street Community Health Center, and others to make improvements along the Kinnickinnic River between S. 6th Street and S. 16th Street. This project is located at the downstream end of the watershed or the “bottom of the funnel”. The river channel is 50 feet wide and lined with concrete. During heavy storms, the concrete lining creates dangerous flow conditions that have claimed a number of drowning victims throughout the years. It is also not wide enough for large flood events and an updated analysis has identified approximately 300 residential and commercial structures at high flood risk.
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*Timeline subject to change
Flooding at the S. 9th Pl bridge in 2008
Concrete lined Kinnickinnic River in project area. Photo Credit: Eddee Daniel
Project area looking east from the 16th Street bridge. Photo Credit: Eddee Daniel
A transitional space, the KK River Plaza, that residents can enjoy during the projects’ initial design phase.