Last Updated: 09/23/2016

Description
This project is a paved multi-use (bicycle / pedestrian) path that will begin at the intersection of Jacobson Ave and Webb Ave and continue along the former Soo Line railroad corridor to the existing Marsh View path at Highway 30. Detailed planning began in early 2002 and in 2004 the City conducted an extensive public involvement process for the Starkweather Creek watershed looking at bicycle/pedestrian transportation along with other issues which recommended focus on two "backbone" bike routes, the West Branch path [recently completed] and the [Starkweather] East Branch path. This segment will provide an off-street route connecting neighborhoods north and south of Highway 30 and west of Starkweather Creek. By connecting to the Marsh View path it greatly enhances the transportation value of that path while accomplishing a crossing of Highway 30, currently a major barrier for bikes. The project will require structural modifications and retaining walls to make use of the existing Highway 30 underpass.
 

Length

The length of the project is approximately one quarter mile.
 

Schedule

Construction is anticipated to begin in 2017.
 

Cost

Estimated construction cost is $490,000.
 

Status

Madison has completed a preliminary design and is pursuing appropriate permits in order to advance the project.
 

Public Comments: 

Comment Posted on 01/18/2016

I'd like to express my disappointment at the repeated delays in the construction of this project and the diversion of money from this project to other path upgrades around the city (widening of the Cap City Trail and improvements to the bridge behind Olbrich Gardens). I realize city funds are limited but the working class neighborhood around Hawthorne School - my neighborhood - would benefit greatly from the addition of this path. Since the neighborhood is penned in by Hwy 51, Hwy 151 (East Wash) and Hwy 30 this path would provide a needed bike route out. Currently, Fair Oaks is the major bike route in and out of the neighborhood but the condition of the pavement south of Hwy 30 is terrible with many recurrent potholes and the car congestion at 30 and Fair Oaks at rush hour creates a major hazard for bikers. Once the path is built, downtown will be a straight, flat 3.5 mile bike ride from the neighborhood - an easily managed bike commute on the Cap City Trail even by least experienced bicyclists. This would add a LOT of value to the neighborhood. I thank Mayor Soglin for getting this bike path back on track in the 2016 budget even as the city Bike/Ped Commission saw fit to take it out.

City Staff Response

We share your within the WisDOT-owned railroad corridor. We were initially confident we could obtain these permits, but the operating railroad, Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co, (now owned by Watco Companies) has opposed this. We remain committed to building this path if we can eventually gain WisDOT's cooperation, but we are not in control of the timetable.