aerial view of 43s and Becher Street

Becher Street Overpass Project

Project Update

Join us for the first public information meeting for the Becher Overpass Project! The event will be held on May 17th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Basilica of St Josaphat. Learn about the green infrastructure improvements being planned for Becher and 4th Street. The green infrastructure will reduce and filter pollutants out of the highway runoff before its enters waterways and the sewer system.

¡Venga a la reunión de información pública para el Proyecto de Paso Elevado de la Calle Becher! El evento se llevará a cabo el 17 de mayo de 4:00 pm a 7:00 pm en la Basílica de St. Josaphat. Aprenda sobre las mejoras de infraestructura verde que se avecinan para la calle Becher y 4th Street.

Project Overview

The Green Highways program addresses highway stormwater runoff through innovative green infrastructure. Green infrastructure captures, absorbs, or stores rain and melting snow. The stormwater runoff is redirected from highway downspouts to an array of green infrastructure installations under overpasses.

Highway stormwater runoff carries a variety of pollutants including oils, vehicular fluids, and salts. These pollutants often drain untreated into Milwaukee’s rivers and Lake Michigan. The Becher Street Overpass Project will redirect stormwater from the I-94 Interstate to green infrastructure installations under the overpass instead of flowing directly to the Kinnickinnic River or the combined sewer system. Green infrastructure captures, absorbs, or stores rain and melting snow. 

The green infrastructure installations will reduce pollutants flowing into local waters or reduce the volume in the combined sewer system.  Several types of green infrastructure installations are recommended, including constructing bioswales, replacing pavement with permeable pavers, and planting native plants.

The overpass area is of high interest to the surrounding community, straddling a river-side industrial corridor and residential neighborhoods. Traffic safety is also a concern due to the concentration of city streets and the highway on and off-ramps. The green infrastructure will also help create a greater sense of place and function for the community and discourage unwanted activity under the overpass.

Project Map

Other community improvements are also being considered as part of the project’s planning process. While the green infrastructure improvements will be funded by the MMSD, independent funding for additional improvements will need to be secured and led by the efforts of local stakeholders.


Project Benefits

  • Reduce stormwater runoff
  • Improve runoff water quality
  • Activate the neighborhood

Project Timeline

  • Winter 2022 – Fall 2022 – Engineering Design with Public Engagement Opportunities
  • Winter 2023 – Summer 2023 – Construction

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Partners

Get Involved / Stay Informed

  • Sign up to receive Becher Overpass Project updates in your inbox below.

  • Participate in upcoming events. MMSD will conduct several stakeholder and public engagement opportunities for input and feedback. Check back here for information and updates.

  • Follow MMSD on social media (TwitterInstagramFacebook) for updates on MMSD projects.


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Green Infrastructure in Greater Milwaukee

bioswale by road with native plants

Bioswale

Bioswales are landscape features that collect polluted stormwater runoff, soak it into the ground, and filter out pollution. Bioswales are similar to rain gardens but are designed to capture much more runoff coming from larger areas of impervious surfaces like streets and parking lots.

porous pavement in alleyway

Porous Pavement

Porous pavement systems allow runoff to soak into the pavement surface and engineered stone layers below. The water then slowly moves down into the ground and is connected to local stormwater sewers or can be collected and stored for future use. 

native landscaping outside apartment

Native Landscaping

Native landscaping uses colorful native plants, ornamentals, or a combination of the two, to create a natural landscape that manages rainwater while beautifying your yard. Native plants have deep growing root systems that help break up the soil, allowing more water to drain into the ground.