McKinley Marina Redevelopment


Milwaukee County desired to rehabilitate a large marina and improve the wave climate within the marina basin.  This less developed facility was transformed into a full service marina.

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Milwaukee County Department of Transportation & Public Works
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Project Highlights


Insufficient harbour protection frequently resulted in damage to docks and vessels in the original marina. Modifications and improvements to the existing coastal structures were required to allow the installation of floating docks for 650 slips.  In addition to the marina, the master plan that was developed and implemented included a park and other harbour improvements.

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Project Challenges


  • Provide a design that allowed for floating docks.
  • Provide a cost-effective design for a client with limited funding options.
  • Integrate the proposed water-based improvements with future land-based enhancements.
  • Maintain slip availability to all marina patrons during construction to maintain a consistent revenue stream.

Baird Solutions


  • Physical model investigations optimized the proposed breakwater improvements and reduced wave levels.
  • Use of a self-unloading freighter for the delivery and placement of breakwater stone reduced costs.
  • A public participation program included key stakeholders to reach a consensus plan.
  • The construction was phased over three construction seasons, with disruptive activities occurring during the non-boating season.

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