Demetral Park Path Reconstruction

Last Updated: 09/15/2017

The existing asphalt paths in Demetral Park are in need of resurfacing. At the same time, the City recognizes the need for a more continuous pedestrian and bicycle route in the E Johnson St / Pennsylvania Av / Packers Av corridor. This proposed project will construct a 10-foot wide shared-use (bicycle and pedestrian) path from the southern park limits to Commercial Avenue, generally following the route of the existing path along the east side of Demetral Park. In addition to reconstructing and widening this existing path, some new segments will be added to create a direct, continuous route from the south end of the park to the north end. The project may also include a short path segment at First St.

Ultimately this path project will be a key component in an effort to complete the off-street, shared use path from the Yahara River Parkway Path to Commercial Avenue, a distance of more than 1.4 miles, linking East side neighborhoods to the downtown area. This cooperative project of Engineering and Parks Divisions will also re-pave other paths in the Park, keeping their existing location and width (typically 8 feet or less) and providing a new riding surface. The new path will, to a great extent, serve the function of a sidewalk along Pennsylvania Av and Packers Av. Some additional sidewalk may be constructed with this project and it does not rule out consideration of sidewalk along the street in the future.  The path widening will require approval by Board of Parks Commissioners and will require closing the existing paths for some period of time.

Concept Map

The total length of the main path from the southern park limits to Commercial Avenue is approximately 4,400 feet, including 3,000 feet of existing path widened and reconstructed, 1400 feet of new path and street crossings.  The existing paths to be resurfaced total approximately 2100 feet.

Preliminary cost estimate for construction is about  $300,000 for the main  path and $50,000 for the resurfacing of secondary paths.

A public meeting was held on October 14, 2015 at East High School to discuss the project.

Public Comments: 

Comment Posted on 10/06/2015

Hi, I live on 7th Street by Demetral Park. This looks like a great project, especially the new proposed path sections and resurfacing of the Demetral Path. I bike and walk through Demetral Park and beyond to connect with the Yahara River Path. This will greatly improve the connection between the Demetral and Yahara Paths. I am strongly in favor of this project and look forward to its completion next year. Barb Jenkin

City Staff Response

Great! Keep in touch with any questions.

Comment Posted on 10/14/2015

After construction, will the path still end with use having to travel through the PDQ parking lot? I am hoping that the new design will allow us to avoid that area as it isn't as safe.

City Staff Response

Our plan is to acquire an easement just south of the PDQ parking lot  and continue the 10' path through that area and across Third St. There wil no longer be a need to use the parking lot.

Comment Posted on 10/15/2015

The segment behind the PDQ is certainly needed to enhance the overall network. I am in favor of the project, and thanks for the improvement. Where does the funding come from for this work?

City Staff Response

We agree that the segment behind PDQ is important. Our plan is to acquire an easement just south of the PDQ parking lot  and continue the 10' path through that area and across Third St. There wil no longer be a need to use the parking lot. The project will be built entirely with City funds, mostly from the Engineering Division's bicycle and pedestrian budget and some from Parks Division budget.

Comment Posted on 10/22/2015

I was not able to attend the meeting on regarding this project on October 14. Where is the new path in relation to the small berm at the corner of Commercial and Pennsylvania Ave and the dog park in Demetral Park. The small corner berm has been planted with native plants and this planting has been a project of the EENA neighborhood association. So I am wondering if the berm will be destroyed in the construction process for the new path.

City Staff Response

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Our current design is not completely fixed, but will impact this planting some. We will coordinate with EENA on how we can minimize the impact and help with restoring it after the construction.

Comment Posted on 01/17/2016

I am another voice for the area on Commercial and Packers with the small berm being in question for developing a bike path, as I've been involved with the large berm native habitat for over a decade. There is a long history of this small berm involved the neighborhood association, in terms of financial support and person hours, as well as with the City Parks support for mowing, delivering mulch, and general support. I am glad plans are still in draft mode. I look forward to another meeting with the neighborhood to discuss the details, and minimize the damage, with a preference of no damage on the front side of the berm facing Packers. We can deliver costs of plants and person hours involved with our replanting of this project, that would need to be compensated if the berm was to be deconstructed. Thanks. Other than that, since I bike to work, I'm in favor of the project.

City Staff Response

We are doing what we can to minimize damage to the landscaping, but the design is very constrained in this location and we have very little flexibility.  We will point out to the contractor the need to protect this area to the extent possible.  I am sure that City Engineering and/or Parks Division will be glad to work with the neighborhood to restore the area after the project is complete. Please stay in touch with the project team as this develops, and if you would like to meet, please email us.