Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Three Bridges Park (Hank Aaron State Trail)

Milwaukee, WI

Three Bridges Park transformed an abandoned brownfield into an urban environmental oasis in the heart of the Menomonee Valley. What was once 24 acres of abandoned industrial rail yard is now a revitalized gathering place for the Milwaukee community providing a great route for biking, commuter access to local businesses, community gardens, an environmental classroom for 22 neighborhoods and more. Benesch served as the project lead and was responsible for site layout and design, structural engineering, path geometry, and hydraulic analysis. The project includes two new signature pedestrian bridges connecting two miles of new multi-use trail. Construction debris and contaminated soil left behind by industries in the area was safely covered, and the existing fill was reconfigured at the site to develop an interesting topography for the park including mounds to imitate the natural glacial landforms of Southeast Wisconsin. To control erosion on the newly transformed land, our design team developed a one-of-a-kind underground storm water management system made of six individual, rubber-bottomed storage cells that are approximately 2,000 feet long and filled with stones to filter and cool the water.

Project highlights

  • Trail connections to neighborhoods
  • Brownfield reclamation
  • Three new signature pedestrian bridges
  • Coordination with various local, state and private agencies
  • Steep riverbank and flashy river
  • Environmentally sensitive areas
  • Soil testing
  • RR coordination