Workers at the Caterpillar factory in South Milwaukee are closely watching a labor dispute at the company plant in Illinois. Caterpillar employees in Joliet have been on strike for three months. The company is seeking steep wage and pension concessions, and the union representing nearly 800 workers refuses to accept the demands. WUWM’s Erin Toner reports on speculation that the outcome of the dispute could be a bellwether for labor relations across the country.
In this concluding segment of our series, WUWM's Bob Bach and Marge Pitrof chat about the visions people shared with our reporters about future plans for the Milwaukee River, as well as its ongoing challenges.
Rowers are among the people using the river in their leisure time.
A map on the Riverwalk points out nearby attractions.
One of the many sightseeing cruises that depart downtown Milwaukee each day.
Pontoon boats for rent on the Milwaukee River.
Robert Carr owns the Edelweiss boats and other pleasure vessels.
Peter Hansen stands next to a boat docked at the Hansen Marina.
A boat slip owner makes the most of the space adjacent to the river.
Public Docks along the Riverwalk
New restaurants and condos are among the attractions that have lured boaters to the river in recent years.
Members of the Milwaukee Rowing Club out for an early morning lesson downtown.
Anna Leach is a high schooler who has fallen in love with rowing, and rows daily with the Milwaukee Rowing Club.
Rowing Club President Joe Cincotta stands in the club's boathouse in the Beerline neighborhood.
The Urban Ecology Center at Riverside Park rents a fleet of canoes and kayaks to members.
Walter Sams leads a water safety course for people who want to rent one of the Urban Ecology Center's boats.
The estuary downstream from the old North Avenue Dam.
Kimberly Gleffe of the River Revitalization Foundation stands on a pedestrian bridge built on the old North Avenue Dam structure. The river upstream flows freely and is more narrow and shallow than the waterway to the south.
A Saturday afternoon at Estabrook Park's new beer garden.
The Estabrook Park beer garden serves giant pretzels and even bigger glasses of beer.
Early in Milwaukee’s history, residents flocked to the Milwaukee River to recreate. They gathered at the beer gardens and swimming schools that lined the shores, north of downtown.
By the end of the 1900s however, development and runoff had polluted the river, and the community began abandoning it. It wasn’t until about 1970 that comprehensive efforts began to remediate the problems.
The river is far from its pristine state. Yet in today’s installment of our series Milwaukee River Revival, WUWM’s Ann-Elise Henzl views how the river has again become a draw for leisure-time activities.