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MMSD and Milwaukee County Parks have been working closely in the spring and summer of 2023 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on preliminary design review and coordination with nearby projects. The design team has taken additional time to evaluate areas of significant creek bank erosion where Works Progress Administration (WPA) era walls are failing, including working closely with the State Historic Preservation Office on project requirements. The design process is expected to continue through 2024.
In August 2023, MMSD partnered with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) to obtain a pre-project biological survey of Honey Creek. The pre-project biological survey will allow the biological benefits of channel habitat restoration to be measured after the project is constructed. While doing the Honey Creek biological assessment, the USGS field teams provided an outdoor classroom opportunity for science classes from St. Jude’s the Apostle School and Wisconsin Lutheran High School to explain the work they were doing and the expected benefits of the project. Several classes from St. Jude’s school and over 200 students from Wisconsin Lutheran High School had the opportunity to see firsthand some of the work scientists do!
The Honey Creek Flood Management and Habitat Restoration project parallels work that was undertaken in Underwood Creek. Like Underwood Creek, in the 1950s and 1960s, Honey Creek was transformed into a concrete-lined ditch to address flooding issues and to move water as fast as possible.
Time has shown that concrete-lined channels pose more problems than a natural channel. After Honey Creek was channelized, it became a danger to people during rainstorms due to high speeds of the flow; fish habitats were eliminated, and it led to more severe erosion of the downstream creek banks.
MMSD is now working to return Honey Creek to a more naturalized state to reduce flood risks, improve public safety, and restore habitats. The removal of the 50- years old concrete channel, naturalization of the stream channel, and restoration of the stream bank will improve the habitat of Honey Creek and improve safety by slowing down the creek’s flow during extreme rain events.
MMSD and Milwaukee County have partnered with the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to conduct a Feasibility Study through the USACE’s Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Program. The goal of the Feasibility Study is to develop alternatives for the replacement of the concrete-lined channel with a naturalized channel to restore habitat. The USACE is funding 65% of the project up to a maximum cost of $10,000,000.
The project in total restores 8,660 feet of Honey Creek. Sections of the channel are in the City of Wauwatosa and the City of Milwaukee with the work taking place on Milwaukee County property.
Learn more about the Honey Creek project by watching this FOX 6 interview with MMSD's senior project manager, Mark Mittag.
The project timeline is subject to change.
June 18, 2021 Public information Meeting Presentation
June 18, 2021Public Information Meeting Recording
December 2022 Open House Poster
Participate in upcoming opportunities for public engagement and feedback. To keep informed about the project, sign-up for project updates.
Follow MMSD on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) for updates on MMSD projects.
MMSD and the United States Army Corps of Engineers removed 4,400 linear feet of the concrete-lined channel (from Canadian Pacific Railway Bridge to the confluence with the Menomonee River) and replace it with a bioengineered stream; reducing the risk of flooding and improving riparian flood plain and increasing habitat.
This project will help reduce the flood risk along the Menomonee River in Western Milwaukee along West State Street between North 60 Street and USH 175. This project is part of the larger Menomonee River Watercourse Management Plan which aims to reduce the risk of flooding for over 300 homes and businesses.
This project captures and stores potential floodwater in one large basin that covers about 65 acres and holds 315 million gallons of water.