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This project is a paved multi-use (bicycle / pedestrian) path located in the former Union Pacific Railroad corridor adjacent to the Arbor Hills neighborhood in southwest Madison. It includes approximately 1 mile of path from the east line of the UW Arboretum to Greenway View and connecting paths to the Capital City Trail, through Knollwood Conservancy Park into the Arbor Hills neighborhood and through Leopold Park to the Leopold neighborhood. An important component of the project is a large-diameter water main to increase reliability for the Arbor Hills area. It also includes a new bridge over a small waterway, using the original stone abutments of the former railroad structure. This is the first piece of the overall 4+ mile Cannonball Path a major new commuter route linking areas of Fitchburg and Arbor Hills neighborhood with downtown Madison. The overall project is a joint effort between Madison and Fitchburg, with land acquisition partially funded by Wisconsin Department of natural Resources. Madison is the lead agency for the Phase 1 project, in cooperation with City of Fitchburg. The completed Phase I path will connect neighborhoods with parks, and major conservancy areas while serving as a "Safe Route" to Leopold School. It will ultimately connect to the Capital City Trail, Southwest Path, Military Ridge Trail and Badger State Trail, making it a key piece of the regional path network for recreation and transportation.

The total length of the project is 1.42 miles feet including approximately 1.1 miles of main path and 0.32 miles of connecting path.

Construction began August 2010.

The total estimated construction cost for this phase is $1.34 Million not including engineering and contingencies. Design and construction costs are being shared by City of Madison and City of Fitchburg. Land for the entire 4+ mile project was acquired from the Union Pacific Railroad in 2008 for $2.4 Million, which included $1.2 Million from WDNR under the Stewardship Program.

The water main and most of the grading and base course were completed prior to suspension for winter. Construction will resume in spring 2011 when weather permits, including topsoil placement, native seeding and asphalt paving. The path is expected to be open for use in June 2011.

Public Comments
Have a question or comment on this project? Use the Public Comment Form.
Posted: 04/18/2011
For years now the main component to make this bike path a viable commuter route for Arbor Hills, Leopold, Fitchburg and beyond has been to complete a safe pedestrian/bicyble overpass over the beltline highway.
In 2010 I sent an email asking about this overpass and was told by the city that the overpass was funded and would be begun and possibly completed in 2012. In this promotion there is no mention of the overpass. Minor inference to connection ultimately to the Capitol area is all I'm reading. There is no good SAFE way to access the other side of the beltline from the Arbor Hills, Leopold neighborhoods. I want to know if indeed we are finally going to see some progress on the overpass and a true commuter bike path for this area.

City Staff Response:
Don - We are indeed planning on an overpass of Beltline Highway, tentatively for 2012.  This is really the key piece that will make this an important transportation path. It is listed separately under "Proposals in Design" as "Cannonball Path Phase 3, Beltline Overpass". There is also a description of Phase 2, which Fitchburg will be building.