Two years ago We Energies announced plans to convert the Menomonee Valley Power Plant from coal to natural gas. To do so requires not only retrofitting the existing boilers to accept the new fuel, but also installing new natural gas main lines to bring that fuel to the plant. Work on those gas lines began along Canal Street this week. As a result this vital Valley artery will be constricted to two lanes for the duration. Construction vehicles were operating even in the open lanes today, causing backups.
The work is expected to be completed in September. Between now and then, if you drive that way, it might be a good idea to find a different route. The good news for cyclists, however, is that a paved detour has been created in front of the Twisted Fisherman property so that Hank Aaron State Trail users can bypass the construction.
On a related note, the new Hank Aaron Trail ramp and staircase that lead down off the 6th St. bridge is complete. The opening has been delayed while the trail segment through the Reed Street Yards is being finished. It is supposed to open in July, last I heard.