DescriptionThis planning-level project is a combination of paved multi-use (bicycle / pedestrian) path and on-street bike improvements that would connect the north side of Madison with the Yahara parkway path and the City's path network in general. It would generally follow the rail corridor from the Yahara River to Sheridan Drive north of Aberg Avenue. From there it would continue on low-volume streets to Troy Drive. The first phase of this project, from the Yahara Parkway path to E Johnson St at Fordem Avenue, was constructed in 2007 and includes a bridge over the Yahara River and crossing improvements at the Fordem intersection. The remainder of the project would require easements from Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) in certain key locations. While the operating railroad, Wisconsin Southern, has been open to discussions, the owner of the property, UPRR, has not. Interstate commerce rules limit the City's ability to use eminent domain powers in this situation, so the project is on indefinite hold until there is a change in the UPRR management philosophy or in the ownership of the rail corridor.
LengthThe total length of the project is approximately 3.2 miles, including 1.5 miles of separate path and 1.7 miles of on-street route.
ScheduleConstruction is not currently scheduled, pending agreements to secure necessary easements for the corridor.
CostNo cost estimate is available at this time. Most likely, federal funds under the Transportation Enhancements (TE) program will be sought for construction.
StatusCity continues to monitor the status of the rail corridor ownership and will seek discussions if an opportunity arises.
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