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.

Why are there barriers and fencing along the North Avenue bridges over the Menomonee River?

Issue: A reader asked that question about the stone bridges over the Menomonee River just east of Serafino Square. He guessed the chain link fencing and the concrete barriers are designed to protect pedestrians or bicyclists during repair and construction.

'However, I haven't seen any trace of workers or reconstruction occurring at all during these past two months,' he wrote. 'How to justify such inaction?'

Status:Our reader is correct. Marion Sodnik of the department of public works said the city installed the protective barriers after workers observed crumbling stone. The chain link fencing helps keep any fragments from falling on the sidewalks, and the barriers protect the wall from any vehicle collision.

City Engineer Bill Wehrley said the city plans to do maintenance work on the bridges. First, though, he said the city must secure permits from Milwaukee County and the Departent of Natural Resources because the work will involve the river and the land on each side.

He said there is no specific date set for the work but estimated it may take a couple of months.

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