Last Updated: 03/24/2016
The City of Madison is proposing to construct a shared-use path from S High Point Road to S Junction Road. Beginning at S Junction Road south of the Watts Road intersection, new asphalt path would extend approximately 0.5 miles east to S High Point Road.This is part of a larger project known as the West Towne Path. West of High Point Road the path will cross beneath Watts Road in a new underpass. For most of the "All Saints" segment (between Junction Road and Watts Road) the path traverses a steep side slope and the path would require a significant retaining wall along its high (south) side so that the path can generally match the existing ground along the north side of the path. The "Princeton" segment (from Watts Road to High Point Road) traverses relatively flat terrain immediately south of the existing Princeton Club West parking area.
The paved path will be 10 feet wide with 2-foot wide grass shoulders, to accommodate two-way bicycle traffic, pedestrians, skaters and other non-motorized users. Shoulders will be paved adjacent to walls. The clear width in the underpass will be around 18 feet, with a minimum vertical clearance of 9 feet. It will be designed to serve handicapped users, meeting ADA standards. See MAP of project.
The path would cross S Junction Road with an at-grade crosswalk, incorporating a refuge in the median located just north of the driveway to the Holy Name Catholic Center. East of the Cortland Pond apartments an new walkway will be constructed on retaining wall, connecting the path to the existing sidewalk at the intersection of Plaza Drive and Highview Drive. At Watts Road, separate walkways on either side of Watts will connect the the path from the underpass to the existing sidewalks along Watts. Mid-way between Watts Road and High Point Road the path will cross at-grade and access the Princeton Club “spine” road, connecting the path to the Princeton Club facilities to the north and planned residential units to the south. At High Point Road it will connect to a widened path on the west side of the street, which will be constructed by WisDOT in 2017 as part of their High Point Road Bridge Replacement project.
These two segments are part of a larger West Towne Path project whose goal is the creation of an east-west, non-motorized route from the CTH M corridor to the West Towne Mall area and the Near-West side. The WisDOT bridge replacement project includes a separated two-way path on the new bridge over the Beltline, with a loop in the NW quadrant carrying the path under the bridge to a proposed path along the north side of the Beltline. The City is currently designing two more segments of the project which will continue the path along the north side of the Beltline from High Point Road to West Towne Mall and under Gammon Road to Grand Canyon Drive. From there an existing path continues to Whitney Way.
The City proposes to create the corridor for the path by acquiring easements across currently-undeveloped land, primarily from two property owners: Catholic Diocese of Madison and Princeton Club West. Across the Diocese property the corridor will generally be 35 to 40 feet wide to accommodate the retaining wall and in some locations a landscape buffer between the path and residential properties north of the path. Across the Princeton Club property the corridor will generally be about 20 feet wide, reflecting flat terrain and the need to integrate it into existing and proposed parking areas. The project will also acquire a small easement from a professional office on the east side of Watts Road. City Engineering staff will work with property owners to minimize impacts and maximize the value of the path for those properties. Easements would be acquired by eminent domain under State statutes, assuring a transparent process and fair compensation for property owners.
The City has completed preliminary plans for most of the path, and is working on concepts for the Watts Road underpass and the extensive retaining walls. We plan to hold a Public Information Meeting in early-2016 to provide information about the project and seek input. Following that we would begin the formal real estate process, including appraisals and negotiations, with the goal of acquiring easements in 2016. Construction would take place in 2017 at the earliest, and be completed in one construction season.
Construction cost is estimated at around $1.5 million for the path and retaining walls, with an additional $1 million for the underpass of Watts Road. These figures do not include real estate or design engineering.