Michigan Street Vertical Lift Bridge Rehab

Posted By: Bill Zippel ACEC WI News, Awards,

2023 Engineering Excellence State Finalist

Entering Firm: Alfred Benesch & Company
Client: City of Milwaukee

A considerable amount of work goes into maintaining bridges – the wear and tear from continuous traffic is compounded by weather effects above and below the bridge’s surface. Lift bridges have increased complications due to the important mechanical and electrical parts. The Michigan Street Bridge in Milwaukee had deteriorated and needed structural repairs.

Alfred Benesch engineers led the construction management for this complicated project and served as the liaison for all involved parties. Upgrades included replacing the bridge deck, a full replacement of the mechanical and hydraulic power systems for lifting the bridge and the addition of remote operation capabilities. Safety features were enhanced to protect users from getting too close when the bridge is in operation.

One of the biggest challenges was protecting the Milwaukee River during construction. Removal of the corroded steel, paint, and other contaminants was successfully managed by using a specialized pressure vacuum system. The system worked in a containment enclosure to suck up the debris and prevent it from falling into the river below.

By carefully managing the reconstruction of the bridge, the team delivered for an iconic Milwaukee structure. The bridge provides safe passage over an active waterway and connects people with downtown Milwaukee.

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