Paint the Kilbourn Avenue tunnels now
The Kilbourn Avenue tunnel that takes drivers out of Downtown Milwaukee is closing for repairs beginning April 8, and with this, I'm calling for the insides of both Kilbourn tunnels to be painted. No excuses. No "this is why we can't." No nothing. Straight up, now it's time to de-gray these things, give them some color and splash creativity inside.
Beginning today, the north tunnel (I-43 northbound entrance ramp from Kilbourn Avenue) will be fully closed to traffic until at least June. The south tunnel (I-43 northbound exit ramp to Kilbourn Avenue) will then be fully closed to traffic beginning in June through October. Posted signs will direct motorists to use the Fond du Lac/McKinley I-43 entrance and exit and North 6th Street.
According to the City, work on the underground tunnels will consist of replacing leaking expansion joints in both tunnels and replacing a portion of the south tunnel's ceiling. The work will also require short-term closures that will affect access to the pedestrian ramp from MacArthur Square Plaza, the parking garage stair from North James Lovell Street and the sidewalk on North 9th Street from West State Street to West Wells Street. The schedule is staged to minimize the parking and pedestrian construction impact as much as possible.
Along with the necessary work, these tunnels need color and art. If Milwaukee is to continue to become a more vibrant and innovative city, these things need painting.
Who's up for the challenge?
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