Milwaukee Riverwalk

The last two decades have been remarkable ones in the comeback of the Milwaukee River.  And while some of that comeback is in an environmental sense, right in the middle of the bigger picture of the river's comeback story was Gary Grunau.  Grunau spearheaded the redevelopment of Schlitz Park and the Riverwalk District.

Ann-Elise Henzl

Downtown Milwaukee is in the midst of a building boom, including along the Milwaukee River.

The city credits its ongoing Riverwalk construction for luring people to a stretch of land most had ignored.

Now as the decades-long project nears an end, builders are gobbling up the remaining land along the walkway.

There have been so many projects along the Milwaukee River, you can’t write a list that’s both short and comprehensive.

If you want to see an example of a vision coming to fruition – after years of planning and construction – head to downtown Milwaukee.

The city began building the Riverwalk two decades ago. The project almost is complete, with just a few spans yet to be built.

Milwaukee officials believe the walkway has spurred millions of dollars in development, and has helped people see the river through a new lens.

The riverfront revival is most impressive, if you know a bit of the city’s history. More than 150 years ago, the river was one reason people settled here.

People will pack Milwaukee’s lakefront Wednesday evening for the annual July 3rd fireworks extravaganza. Another crowded place will be the city’s waterways - if the weather cooperates.