Historic Third Ward Riverwalk
The Third Ward section of Milwaukee’s Riverwalk promotes greater pedestrians access to downtown as well as provides artistry to the junction of built and natural environments. In 2005 Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward celebrated the opening of the riverwalk, stretching along the Milwaukee River for three-quarters of a mile.
GRAEF was selected to provide structural engineering, sustainable oversight and an ecologically-based reality check. GRAEF’s most visible involvement is the wood framing and cable-braced pilings on the Riverwalk. In contrast to the concrete riverwalk downtown, the Riverwalk features heavy timber framing topped with a Brazilian hardwood walking surface. Planter boxes along the boardwalk with prairie grasses, shrubs and trees add color during the day while accent lighting adds color at night. A decaying bridge abutment at the end of Buffalo Street has been replaced with a grand staircase, a spiraling steel overlook, and more greenery.
GRAEF has been involved in the Third Ward since 1998 with a survey of dock walls, a Phase I Environmental Assessment, and preliminary designs for stormwater quality enhancement devices.