Robert C. Johnson, Milwaukee County Expressway Commission Chair
By: James Casey
This bulb is dedicated to Robert C. Johnson, who served as a commissioner and then Chair of the Milwaukee County Expressway Commission from 1954 – 1969. In the attached photo dated April 5, 1967, Mr. Johnson (right) celebrates the defeat of the City of Milwaukee lakefront expressway referendum (which included the Hoan). With Johnson are two freeway proponents on the County Board – Marty Larsen (left) and Earl Keegan (center). Due to confusing language in the city referendum insisted by anti – freeway forces – also noted by Congressman Clement Zablocki – city residents had to vote NO if they supported construction of the lakefront expressway. City residents then supported the lakefront expressway project by a 2:1 margin. Besides his tireless work on the Expressway Commission – which were unpaid positions – Mr. Johnson was a major civic and corporate figure in Milwaukee – President of the Seisel Construction Company and a retired Vice Admiral in the U.S. Navy. This dedication is also made for historical reasons, to show who actually did the work on the Hoan and the Milwaukee freeway system – rather than focusing on those who frustrated completion of the freeway system.