Crossroads Marsupial Bridge

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


The Crossroads project was commissioned by two, non-profit community and business groups who hoped to improve a desolate portion of their neighborhood, and to create a pedestrian connection across the Milwaukee River. The local community recognized the site's potential, which consists of a derelict swath adjacent to an historic bridge, a barren zone beneath the bridge approach, and the hidden underbelly of the beautiful steel bridge itself. The project included historical research, community collaboration, coordination with the Milwaukee Department of Public Works and the Metropolitan Sewerage District, and the design of detailed material artifacts. Crisman+Petrus Architects collaborated with LaDallman Architects on the schematic design of this project. Construction was recently completed under the supervision of LaDallman. See Marsupialbridge.com for recent photographs.

The design process resulted in the public funding of three interrelated civic improvements. A new pedestrian and bicycle "Marsupial" bridge, suspended beneath the existing bridge, links two physically separated and socially segregated neighborhoods. Marginalized space beneath and adjacent to the elevated bridge is transformed into a public garden that reconnects the community with the River, and elucidates the city's rich industrial past. Finally, a derelict space parallel to the elevated bridge approach connects the new bridge and public garden to the adjacent neighborhood. These three interwoven segments, the Marsupial Bridge, the Underbridge Rock Garden, and the Lift Station Path, connect old and new spaces and artifacts, and didactically expose the infrastructure necessary for urban existence.