Milwaukee Rails-to-Trails Project Would Bridge Racial Gaps with Repurposed Tires

Midwest
Thursday, November 15, 2012
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The abandoned rail line eyed for The Artery. (Courtesy Matireal)

The abandoned rail line eyed for The Artery. (Courtesy Matireal)

Two students in Milwaukee have grand plans for their own version of the High Line, or Chicago’s Bloomingdale Trail, albeit at ground level. The 2.4-mile trail would connect racially segregated neighborhoods and turn an abandoned railroad line into an outdoor artwalk.

Keith Hayes and Rob Zdanowski crafted a profile of the geo-textile called “matireal” that they hope will comprise Milwaukee’s “Artery” — an 18-inch-by-4-foot reduction of car tires set in a polycarbonate case. Some of the materials come directly from the trail itself, including the tires’ rubber and the gravel that fills the cells in between.

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