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City of Madison Engineering | Photo Credit: Archie Nicolette

STARKWEATHER CREEK

Starkweather Creek Master Plan 2004 Update (1MB pdf)

BACKGROUND

Starkweather Creek runs through a very urbanized section of the City of Madison. The stream often acts as a backwater to Lake Monona due to low velocities and gradient. The section of stream in question starts at it intersection with Interstate Highway 90 and ends at Lake Monona. There are two branches of the creek, totaling 6.1 miles. Shallow areas along the creek make it difficult for recreationalists to enjoy.

Bike paths, parks, and hiking trails both exist currently or are planned for this waterway. The master plan includes these improvements, making them a priority in the planning process. In early 2004, the City of Madison held a public meeting that helped us to assess the community's interest in addressing problems with Starkweather Creek. The group was in favor of establishing a master plan for the area which would focus on the needs of the neighborhood and the city as a whole.

The Friends of Starkweather Creek and the East Isthmus Planning council held a workshop during which the participants were asked for their input on specific areas: environmental quality, recreation, and community building/education.

City Engineering and Parks Division staff took the comments from the workshops and four existing studies for the creek to write a new master plan. The plan was presented to the public in June 2004. During this presentation further feedback was received from the public which was used to narrow down the ideas and incorporated into the 2004 Master Plan update.

Image: Starkweather Creek
Image: Starkweather Creek

Image: Starkweather Creek

Image: Starkweather Creek

Construction

The existing steel sheeting was removed along approximately 1,500 feet of Starkweather Creek, between Milwaukee Street and Darbo Drive. More desirable streambank treatments were constructed, including glacial boulder revetments and limestone steps.

The streambanks were seeded with native vegetation in fall 2008, and trees and shrubs were planted in spring 2009. Stormwater outfalls were replaced and a stormwater treatment device was installed. The project included construction of a rain garden, reconstruction of Clyde Gallagher Avenue along the creek, installation of curb and gutter, construction of a multi-use pedestrian path and bridge over the creek, as well as replacement of sanitary sewer and water main.

Starkweather Creek, during construction

Starkweather Creek, during construction

Starkweather Creek, rain garden site before construction

Starkweather Creek, post construction

Starkweather Creek, post construction

Starkweather Creek rain garden planting

Starkweather Creek rain garden

CONTACT

If you have questions on this project, please contact Lisa Coleman, City Engineering, at 266-4093.