The City of Madison is the latest recipient of a $15 million federal grant to put toward John Nolen Drive Bridge Reconstruction, a generational project with historic funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Senior Advisor to the President and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu made the announcement during a press conference in Madison, Wis., April 14, 2023, at Olin Park.

“Bridges connect us—to one another, to economic opportunity and to get goods to shelves,” Landrieu said. “Rebuilding America’s bridges—no matter how big or small—improves traffic flow, safety, resilience and our economic competitiveness. Our investment in the John Nolen Drive Bridge—and in bridges across the country—is further proof that President Biden’s investments in our infrastructure are making us stronger and leaving no one behind.”

Wisconsin Department of Administration Secretary-Designee Kathy Blumenfeld, United States Representative Mark Pocan and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway spoke at the press conference about what this means for the iconic project.

“I want to thank President Biden and White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu for delivering this much-needed infrastructure improvement to Madison and supporting high quality, good-paying jobs in the process,” Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said. “Reconstructing John Nolen Drive will allow us to make critical safety improvements for vehicles and greatly expand our pedestrian and bicycle facilities for the most-traveled path in the City. This investment will allow equitable access to our waterfront, and improve the shoreline and stormwater management along Lake Monona. It also lets us take our first step forward to redesigning our full Lake Monona Waterfront to welcome everybody into the City through this iconic gateway.”

During the press conference, Landrieu shared how President Biden’s Investing in America agenda is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out—from rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.

“Governor Evers is serious about building 21st century infrastructure in Wisconsin, and working in partnership with our state, local, and Federal partners,” said Department of Administration Secretary-Designee Kathy Blumenfeld. “Today’s exciting announcement builds on the Governor’s commitment to road safety, modernizing our state’s crucial infrastructure, and lays the foundation for critical improvements that will positively impact residents and visitors for decades to come.”

These are all core parts of what Mayor Rhodes-Conway believes will make a strong Madison and a strong Wisconsin.

“One of Madison’s main drives is getting a well-deserved upgrade, and it couldn’t have come at a better time,” Congressman Pocan (WI-02) said. “Thanks to the Infrastructure Law passed by Congress and signed by President Biden, Madison is receiving more than $15 million to improve the bridges on John Nolen Drive, making it safer for commuters, bikers, and pedestrians alike. This project will create good paying jobs, right here in the heart of Madison. Thank you, President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg, and Coordinator Landrieu, for investing in Wisconsin.”

The Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Wisconsin Division selected the City’s John Nolen drive proposal to be funded under the “Federal Investment Program – Other than Large Bridge” category. This FHWA program is funded by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The John Nolen Drive reconstruction project will include:

  • Reconstruction of six bridges along the causeway
  • Lane configuration and cross section changes
  • Expansion of the existing path to separate bike path and pedestrian facilities
  • Shoreline reconstruction along Lake Monona
  • Reconstruction of storm sewer
  • Traffic signals and street lighting

Other components that will be determined through public involvement process. Construction is expected to begin in 2025. More information can be found on the John Nolen Drive Project Page:

For more information on the Bridge Investment Program, please visit the FHWA’s Bridge Investment Program webpage. See the press conference here


Mayor's Office