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Earthmovers transformed part of a Wauwatosa creek that used to see very little sunshine. The $6 million effort, part of a larger flood management project, removes Schoonmaker Creek from a concrete culvert underground, creates more storage for floodwater along the Menomonee River, and provides environmental and habitat improvements for both waterways.
To make way for additional floodwater storage, heavy equipment moved tons of dirt, approximately 5,600 dump truck loads.
Schoonmaker creek ran underground for about 500 feet from the railroad tracks, south, to the Menomonee River.
The drawing below shows how Schoonmaker now flows above ground into a wetland that’s supported and buffered by rock features along the river to prevent erosion.
Schoonmaker Creek work is part of the Western Milwaukee Flood Management Project that will reduce the risk of flooding for 65 homes and businesses in Wauwatosa and Milwaukee.
Nearly all MMSD flood management projects are designed to protect against the one-percent probability flood, meaning there is a one percent chance every year. They are commonly called 100 year floods.
Western Milwaukee will work together with several other projects on the Menomonee River to provide that one percent level of protection for 363 homes and businesses. They include: