We review The Artery.
Clearing a diagonal from Keefe Avenue to Capitol Drive, the Artery project interrupted back-alley life along the old rail corridor so abruptly, it’s as if a curtain went up and someone yelled, “Freeze!” A homeless person’s hammock dangles from an industrial building; there’s graffiti everywhere; and heavy equipment clanks and surges in nearby machine shops.
Funded by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Creational Trails initiative, this urban surgery resulted in a ribbon of pavement two-thirds of a mile long, and a few heraldic sculptures that resemble maypoles made of spray-painted plywood and old tires. The latest $1.1 million effort is intended as a connector to Riverwest’s Beerline Trail but so far remains isolated and hemmed in by industrial buildings. The mighty GMC plans to install more art along the Artery in spring 2016, and not a moment too soon.