In the early 19th century, three towns were formed across the banks of the Milwaukee and Kinnickinnic rivers: Juneautown by Solomon Juneau, Walker's Point by George H. Walker and Kilbourntown by Byron Kilbourn. The quarrel over the formation of a bridge across the Milwaukee River was a key point in the merging of the three towns into the city of Milwaukee in 1846..
The Milwaukee River as it goes through downtown Milwaukee crossed by the Wisconsin Avenue bridge
The Milwaukee River frozen over as it is crossed by the Saint Paul Avenue bridge
The Milwaukee River has numerous movable bridges spanning it, allowing for pedestrian and vehicular traffic. These bridges include several different types, including bascule and vertical lift bridges. There are also many fixed bridges, as well as several pedestrian-only and railroad trestles.
The following is a partial list of bridges that cross the river, from north to south:
There are several parks on the banks of the Milwaukee River. These include Estabrook, Gordon, Kern, Lincoln, Pere Marquette, Pleasant Valley, and Riverside Parks in Milwaukee, Kletsch Park in Glendale and Hubbard Park in Shorewood.
There are also several dams along the river including the controversial Estabrook dam.