$2.5 million project could transform Oak Creek. City officials hope to get it underway in 2023.

Oak Creek Drexel Ave Streetscape

Oak Creek is moving forward with plans started in fall 2021 to improve the look of Drexel Avenue with millions of dollars worth in streetscaping work.

The common council unanimously approved a $165,000 design contract with GRAEF, a Milwaukee-based engineering firm, on Feb. 7 to map out the first phase of the streetscaping project with a $2.5 million budget.

GRAEF has been involved since the start and presented concepts to the city in September 2021.

Those concepts included sidewalks on both sides of Drexel Avenue, new lighting, monuments, decorative paving, signage, art/sculpture and green infrastructure with the goal to encapsulate elements of Oak Creek being a city on the lake. Some design cues were taken from Lake Vista Park and designed to emphasize movement.

The main areas of focus for improvements are medians, intersections, overpass, the rail bridge and Oak Leaf Trail links. In 2021, Craig Huebner, an urban designer and planner with GRAEF, said the company’s main focus is the right-of-way but private elements could be incorporated into plans.

The city hopes to get the project off the ground this year.

February 10, 2023
Erik S. Hanley,  Reporter / Milwaukee Journal Sentinel