Jul 30, 2014

New Road Will Improve Access to Oak Creek Lakefront

Common Council also approved a lakefront action plan Tuesday.

New Road Will Improve Access to Oak Creek Lakefront

Oak Creek will enter into an agreement with the state Department of Transportation to construct a new road from the intersection of Highways 100 and 32 to the intersection of Ryan Road and Fifth Avenue.

The road will provide better access for the Oak Creek lakefront, which officials are trying to redevelop and open up for public use. It's expected to be constructed in 2014.

Alderman Michael Toman, whose district encompasses the lakefront, said the redevelopment plans are the No. 1 topic of discussion with his constituents.

"It's a great step forward," he said of the road.

The road, which has long been in Oak Creek's plans, will cross over vacant land in the 9600 block of S. Chicago Road. It should make it easier for traffic coming from the freeway, which could get to the lakefront in one shot as opposed to making a left turn on Highway 32 and then a right turn onto Ryan.

The city's engineering department has started work on preliminary design with the DOT and the property owner. The street will also accommodate bicycles and pedestrians and could include a roundabout.

Oak Creek has budgeted $175,000 in 2012 for the design of the road, according to a report to council members. But officials are hoping state and federal grants help offset costs.

Also Tuesday, the Oak Creek Common Council unanimously approved the Lakefront Redevelopment Action Plan, which was previously recommended by the Oak Creek Plan Commission.

The plan establishes a "roadmap" to redevelop the lakefront area - 250 empty acres north of Bender Park - into a mixed-use neighborhood, with a focus on a new lakefront park and public open spaces.

Cleaning up environmental issues will remain the primary focus throughout 2012, though City Administrator Gerald Peterson said Tuesday he hopes residents can access the land by late fall.

Residential, retail and commercial properties are also part of the plan. Each individual component has to come back to the Common Council for approval.

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