On January 18, 2003, we held a Wisconsin/Illinois Roadgeek Meet in Milwaukee, organized by Scott Kuznicki and myself (Craig Holl). We met at 11:00 AM at Saz's State House Restaurant, as suggested by Michael G. Koerner. The meet was well attended, with fifteen people from Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, and even Mississippi!. There was a snow event happening in Chicago, so many people arrived a bit late because of that. But they all made it!
When we arrived at Saz's we realized that it didn't open until 11:15 AM. But we asked nicely and they let us come in and warm up at the bar. :) After we got our table, we ate, (delicious!) and then basically took over our area of the restaurant with maps and books. There was a lot of mingling going on and much information was discussed. We also took a Illinois and Wisconsin roadgeek quiz.
Here are some of the items brought and things discussed:
From left to right: Standing: Chris Lawrence, John Fisher, Michael G. Koerner, Jason Reuschlein, Chris Bessert, Lee Taylor, Scott Kuznicki, Bob Spoerl, Rich Carlson, Rexie Carlson, and Brian Reynolds. Kneeling: Rob McCaleb, Jim Rynders, and Craig Holl. (Brian's son Lewis took the picture)
By about 3:00 PM, all but five of us had left. (Scott Kuznicki, Michael G. Koerner, Bob Spoerl, Chris Lawrence, and myself) We decided to take a short tour of Milwaukee's cancelled freeways. We took Appleton Avenue and 76th St. up to the Fond du Lac Freeway, and took that and Fond du Lac Ave to 60th St. where the freeway was supposed to curve south. We cut through the neighborhood where the Park West/Stadium interchange was to be, and then went east along North Ave. There were about two miles of ROW cleared for the freeway, and now most of it is redeveloped. It is easily visible, either being vacant or very new. We toured the Park East Freeway spur demolition, and then checked out the new 6th St. Viaduct. We then took I-43 north, exited and then entered back through the Civic Center tunnels, and followed the Park East again. Where it ends, we followed where the ROW was cleared, but is now redeveloped. We then took I-794 over the Hoan Bridge, and looked at WI-794, the Lake Parkway. After taking the Airport spur, we took I-894 to Loomis Road, and checked out the somewhat built Stadium South interchange. We then took 43rd St. to the stadium, looking at where the freeway would have gone. Then just a short drive up the Stadium Freeway (which was really busy), and we were back at Saz's around 5:00 PM.
The 2003 WI/IL Roadgeek Meet was a success, and enjoyed by all. I hope we can do this again sometime in the future!