Peace of mind for families staying at Ronald McDonald House: Watertown Plank sky bridge is open

WAUWATOSA (WITI) -- It is meant to help folks get from the Ronald McDonald House to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. The Watertown Plank Road pedestrian sky bridge has opened!

For five months after her now three-year-old daughter Lydia was born, Tiffany Spoor stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.

Lydia was born with Down Syndrome along with a defect in her heart and esophagus.

"I remember sleeping at the Ronald McDonald House and getting a call at two in the morning saying 'something is wrong with Lydia. You need to be here now. We don't know what's going to happen,'" said Spoor.

Although she was right across the street, getting to Children's Hospital was tricky -- until now.

"Years of planing and wishing and finally now construction of a solution that allows our families to cross the street in a safe and efficient manner," said Ronald McDonald House President Ann Petrie.

The Watertown Plank Road pedestrian sky bridge is now open. It's a 149-foot bridge that's about half the length of a football field.

The bridge allows families at the Ronald McDonald house to cross the freeway without the worry of driving or traffic.

"The ease and peace of mind and the beautiful interface that this structure provides takes one less thing off those parents' minds when they're dealing with so much," said Wisconsin Department of Transportation Construction Chief Ryan Luck.

The bridge spans Watertown Plank Road, which is another component of the Zoo Interchange project seeing progress.

"Come mid-October -- that's the target date that we're shooting for right now -- mid-October we should see the northbound off-ramp open up and the northbound on-ramp out of Watertown Plank to US 45 open up," said Luck.

Although the bridge didn't exist when Spoor and her family stayed at the Ronald McDonald House, she is still touched by the effort.

"It seems like something so small but when you have a child over there and you need to get to them, that safety is so important and so it's just amazing," said Spoor.