Mayor’s Office

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Groundbreaking on Next Phase of Bike Path Rehabilitation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 18, 2019
Contact:  Olivia LaVecchia
                 (802) 734-0617

 

Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Groundbreaking on Next Phase of Bike Path Rehabilitation

Following years of successful work to bring the northern section of the Burlington Bike Path up to new standards, the City is now turning the same attention to the southern portion

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger today announced the groundbreaking of the next phase of work to rehabilitate all eight miles of the Burlington Bike Path, which will bring Bike Path improvements into the South End. Following successful work to steward and upgrade the five miles of the path that stretch from Perkins Pier to the Winooski River Bridge, the City is now turning to the remaining 2.4 miles in the southern section of the path. The City will address 1.3 miles of that remaining portion in Phase 3a this construction season, with significant completion of this phase projected for December 2019.

“The Bike Path is a big part of why Burlington is a wonderful City to live in, work in, and visit,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “I am thankful to the prior generations that created this remarkable treasure and proud that we have dramatically improved its northern sections over the last five years through widening, some rerouting, and place-making in key locations. The completion of this generational renewal is now in our sights – South End, here we come!”

Phase 3a will focus on several discontinuous sections of the Bike Path that involve both off-road and on-road improvements: Queen City Park Road to Home Avenue, Proctor Place to Harrison Avenue, and north of the HULA property to Perkins Pier. Throughout these sections, the City will work to implement the same standards that it has in the northern section, with a safer alignment, extra width, accessible grade, smoother and more consistent paving, addition of a formal shoulder for running and walking on both sides of the pavement, and pause places that create space for people to stop and enjoy. The City plans to create a new pause place for the South End at Roundhouse Park in Phase 3a, with an additional pause place and UVM Medical Center Exercise Station to come at Oakledge Park during Phase 3b.

“I am so glad that this investment is now reaching the South End, and I am looking forward to a smoother and wider ride, connecting the South End with the recreational opportunities and improvements that have already been completed on the northerly portions of the path,” said City Councilor Joan Shannon, South District. “These changes will benefit South End residents and businesses, and all those who live in, work in, and visit Burlington for decades to come.”

Summary of This Year’s Work

Highlights of Phase 3a include the following:

  • Creating a welcoming entrance to the underutilized segment between Queen City Park Road and Home Avenue, known as Segment Zero, including by improving the grade to make the path more accessible for people of all abilities;
  • Working with the City’s Department of Public Works to pave and mark the onstreet portion of the Bike Path between Home Avenue and the entrance to Oakledge Park at Austin Drive;
  • Widening the currently narrow section across and along the Barge Canal to the standard, 15foot multi-use path width, including across the bridge. This complex work will be possible only during low Lake conditions, which the City expects in the late summer to early fall;
  • Implementing a realignment north of the Barge Canal in order to shield the path from waves on Lake Champlain; and
  • Adding a new pause place at Roundhouse Point with benches and landscaping to allow users to enjoy the views of Lake Champlain, thanks to a generous donation through the Parks Foundation.

"The Foundation is pleased to continue its support of the total rehabilitation of the Bike Path along with the construction of new pause places for lake views and other amenities along the path,” said John Bossange, member of the Bike Path Task Force that laid the groundwork for the path rehabilitation, Founding President of the Parks Foundation, and longtime Parks Commissioner. “This newly constructed section of pathway will draw us closer to the full completion of the eight miles of Bike Path."

Throughout Phase 3a, construction work will use fresh soil and new plants to raise grades and protect against flooding, stabilize shorelines, and enhance stormwater runoff capture.  The work will also enhance the Bike Path’s landscaping, including through a proactive response to the inevitable arrival of the emerald ash borer by taking down hazard prone ash trees, and replanting a total of 57 new disease-resistant, long-lived canopy trees and flowering shrubs to take their place. Phase 3a will result in a net gain for Burlington’s Urban Forest, and make our City more resilient to the impacts of climate change.

“Our Parks Master Plan focuses on enhancing connections, improving the safety and accessibility of our active transportation and recreational facilities, and paying close attention to ecological health and climate resilience, which are all woven into projects such as the Greenway Rehabilitation,” said Cindi Wight, Director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront. “By bringing Segment Zero up to our standard, better integrating it into the Burlington Greenway proper, and making the facility more open and accessible to all, we are enhancing the connection to the incredible multi-use path network of our friends in the City of South Burlington. As a bike commuter who loves to use our improved connections on the now completed northern sections of the Greenway, I appreciate how impactful this can be for our southern residents and neighbors.”

Schedule and Planned Closures

As construction of the Phase 3a improvements gets underway, the City is working to manage the impacts of closures to the path to complete this necessary work. The Parks Department and its contractor will be building and re-opening each segment in Phase 3a separately in order to minimize disruption to the Bike Path. Bike Path users can expect the following segments to be closed during the below periods of time:

  • Late June - early July: Queen City Parkway to Home Avenue (detour to Industrial Avenue)
  • Mid-July to late July: Proctor Place/Harrison Avenue (detour Flynn Avenue to Maple Street)
  • Mid-August to November/December: Barge Canal and Roundhouse Point
  • Mid-October to November/December: Perkins Pier walkways

The construction budget for Phase 3a is $2.39 million, which will be funded through the Capital Budget, Penny for Parks, and philanthropic contributions from the Parks Foundation of Burlington.

Bike Path users can find the latest information about closures and construction progress on the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront website at this link: https://enjoyburlington.com/greenway-phase-3/

Background: Current Effort is Product of Years of Planning, Effort and Generosity

The rehabilitation of the entire Burlington Bike Path is a multi-year project estimated to cost a total of $16.5 million. Phase 1a encompassed the segment from Perkins Pier to Penny Lane, and was completed in summer of 2015. Phase 1b picked up from Penny Lane, realigned the path through the Urban Reserve and added a new mini park, lookout, and 3 new UVM Medical Center Fitness Stations. Phase 2 covered just over 3 miles of full reconstruction from north of the North Beach overpass to the intersection of North Avenue Extension, and additional paving from North Avenue Extension to the Winooski River Bridge. Each phase has enhanced safety, ecological function, and connectivity, transforming the Bike Path into a linear system of parks.

The effort to rehabilitate the Burlington Bike Path began in 2010 with the convening of the Bike Path Task Force, which recommended a $12-16 million enhancement to bring the Bike Path up to modern standards. Following significant flood damage in April 2011, in November 2012, Burlington voters approved two significant ballot items to fund the improvement and maintenance of the Bike Path, and also supported ongoing investment in infrastructure through the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan in 2016. Reinvestment in the Bike Path has also been made possible by the Parks Foundation of Burlington, which has raised over $1 million to supplement public investment in the Bike Path.

For more information about Phase 3a, please see:

For more information about the work to rehabilitate the Bike Path, please see:

 

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Press Release Date: 
06/18/2019
City Department: 
Mayor's Office