drone image of western milwaukee

Western Milwaukee Phase 2B

map of western milwaukee

This project will extend the earthen levee system 1,800 feet eastward to reduce flooding along State Street, build a new 1200-foot-long floodwall, install four new storm sewers, and restore 1500 feet of banks along the Menomonee River.

Project Update

The Western Milwaukee Phase 2B Project has reached a new milestone! MMSD on the behalf of the cities of Milwaukee and Wauwatosa has earned a Conditional Letter of Map Revision (CLOMR) approval from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA. The CLOMR is a key regulatory requirement necessary before the project can begin construction.

The next milestone prior to construction is securing approval from the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) for construction access to allow floodwall construction adjacent to the CP property. We are actively working with CP on this important coordination. Check back here for future project updates and sign-up for e-news about the project too!

Project Overview

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is partnering with the City of Milwaukee and City of Wauwatosa to make flood risk reduction improvements along the Menomonee River in Western Milwaukee along West State Street between North 60 Street and USH 175.

This project is part of the larger Menomonee River Watercourse Management Plan which aims to reduce the risk of flooding for over 300 homes and businesses. To see the existing floodplain map visit FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center.

The Western Milwaukee Phase 2B Project will:

  • Extend the earthen levee (a compacted soil embankment that holds back floodwaters during heavy rains) 1,900 feet, with a sloped soil embankment up to 8 feet high, to reduce flood risk from the Menomonee River flooding onto State Street during heavy rains from approximately 60th Street and West State Street east to US Highway 175. See bottom of page for example image.
  • Build a 1,200 foot long floodwall (a wall made of concrete that holds back floodwaters during heavy rains) training in a height of 5 to 10 feet on the landward side and up to 20 feet on the river side.
  • Install four new storm sewers totaling 5,100 feet.
  • 1,500 feet of excavation and bank restoration between the north and south banks of the river.
  • Turf and native plantings.

Project Area Photos

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    View of project area from North Hawley bridge looking west.

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    View of project area across the Menomonee River from Doyne Park looking east along the Canadian Pacific Railway.

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    The Western Milwaukee Phase 2B earthen levee will be similar to the earthen levee down river that was built as part of the Western Milwaukee Phase 1 project.

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    Graphic rendering of project area looking west towards the Hawley Road bridge.

Project Map

To recognize the levee system's flood risk reduction benefits there will be a levee system accreditation application to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the entire Menomonee River levee system (shown in map below) and a remapping of the floodplain in the surrounding project area following completion of the project. The FEMA review is expected to take up to three years after construction completionThere are some structures that will remain in the mapped floodplain after the levee system is completed. These structures remaining in the floodplain will be evaluated for other flood risk reduction approaches such as voluntary floodproofing and voluntary acquisition. 

Project Benefits:

  • Help To Reduce Flood Risk
  • Increased Public Safety
  • Improved Riparian (area adjacent to the river) & Aquatic Habitat

Project Timeline:

2014 – 2017 - Preliminary Design

2017 – 2022 - Finalize Design

2022 – 2024 - Construction

2024 - 2027 - FEMA Review

2027 – Anticipated Update of Floodplain Map

*Project timeline is subject to change

Project Status:

MMSD is completing the final design.

Partner List:

Levee and Floodwall Rendering

rendering of western milwaukee phase 2b


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