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Ask NOW: What is the sign in the median at 124th and Burleigh?

March 26, 2014

Is there a rumor you've heard that you would like to track down? Is there something in the city — like playground equipment or a pothole — that needs to be fixed? Rick Romano answers some of the mysteries of life in Wauwatosa and helps solve everyday problems.

What is the sign in the median at 124th and Burleigh?

Issue: A reader asked us several questions about an unusual sign posted in the 124th Street median just south of the Burleigh Street intersection. "It says 128, it is tilted up toward the sky and it has been there for decades," he wrote. "What is the purpose of the sign, who placed it and what info are we to learn from it?"

Status: Mike Norris, right-of-way specialist for West Shore Pipeline Company, answered all those questions. The oil firm manages the underground petroleum line that was first built in 1961.

Norris said the two-way sign seen from north and south designates a mile marker. Both sides of the sign are tilted upward so the company can make its weekly aerial check to comply with federal standards.

"We fly over every week in order to make sure no one has tampered with the line either accidently or intentionally," Morris said.

West Shore Pipeline transports petroleum from its facility in Lemont, Ill., — a south suburb of Chicago — to as far as Green Bay and Madison. Locally, the company transports to a distribution center on Milwaukee's northwest side. The operation and ownership was combined with the former Badger pipeline system in 1998.

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