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Mayor Weinberger Reopens the Entire Northern Bike Path

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 20, 2017
Contact:  Diana Wood, Parks, Recreation & Waterfront, 802-865-7089

    Katie Vane, Mayor’s Office, 802-734-0617

 

Mayor Weinberger Reopens the Entire Northern Bike Path
Includes 3 Miles of Rehabilitated Bike Path, Improved Stormwater Infrastructure, Street Crossings, and New Neighborhood Access Points

 

Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger, accompanied by City officials and community leaders, officially reopened the entire northern section of the Burlington Bike Path at Leddy Park this morning. Over three miles of the beloved Bike Path, from North Beach to the Winooski River Bridge, underwent major rehabilitation during the 2017 construction season. The entire Bike Path is now open for winter use. Because of the new pavement in the northern section of the Burlington Bike Path, this winter, for the first time, the Department of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront has updated its plowing policy and will be plowing the northern sections.

 

“Future generations of Burlingtonians will look back at these years as an era of major public investment – as a time when the City Council, the Administration, and the public worked together to dramatically improve and expand our park system, our core infrastructure, and our public spaces,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger.  “This ambitious Bike Path rehabilitation represents the largest capital project our Parks Department has undertaken, and completes the long-desired restoration and improvements to the Bike Path in the New North End. I am proud to see the quality of the work, attention to detail, and careful consideration of ecology and accessibility that has been incorporated into the design and construction to dramatically improve this great community asset.”

 

The rehabilitation of this three-mile stretch of the Bike Path was completed in two phases and cost a total of $2.6 million. The northernmost segment, from Shore Road to the Winooski River, was completed in October and fully opened to the public. The busier southern segment, just North of North Beach overpass, to Shore Road, was closed during the late fall/early winter to minimize impact on users. The Department of Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (DPRW) managed the design and construction of the project beginning in December 2016, and was supported by a team of consultants throughout the process. The stability and continuity of this team, many of whom worked together on last year’s Bike Path rehabilitation in the Urban Reserve, built deep project knowledge and allowed DPRW to manage the project aggressively to maximize quality and efficiency.

 

“The push to rehabilitate began with the vision laid out by the Bike Path Task Force and our Path Improvement Feasibility Study of 2012,” said John Bossange, DPRW Commissioner and Parks Foundation Chair. “This ambitious goal was wholeheartedly embraced by a newly elected Mayor Miro Weinberger and expertly stewarded by a rejuvenated parks department. The Parks Foundation is very proud to have the Burlington Greenway project as our signature work, and look forward to continuing our support for the construction of additional pause places, like the beautiful spot that is designed for Leddy, and tackling the southern sections of the path from Perkins to the city boundary at Queen City Park.”

 

“As a Ward 4 elected official, a long-time resident of the New North End, and a member of the original Bike Path Task Force, I am keenly aware of how much the Bike Path means to my constituents, and the thousands of Burlingtonians and international visitors who enjoy it,” said Kurt Wright, Ward 4 City Councilor and Bike Path Task Force member. “Thank you Mayor Weinberger for his leadership, Burlington Parks Recreation & Waterfront and Director Cindi Wight for their coordination and prioritization of this project, and Parks Foundation and Chair John Bossange for their strategic alliance and successful fundraising campaign that made this project possible.”

 

“Today, as the result of the hard work of the City, the support of our local business community and the generosity of many, our community gets to celebrate yet another upgrade to our beloved Bike Path,” said Burlington Business Association Executive Director Kelly Devine. “It is both an internationally known recreational amenity and a key to what makes Burlington an amazing city. I want to thank Mayor Weinberger, Councilor Wright, DPW Director Spencer, John Bossange, former Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Director Jesse Bridges, and the people of Burlington for their unwavering commitment to improving our bike path over the past six years.”

 

“I came into this midstream,” said DPRW Director Cindi Wight, who took over as Director in October after serving as Superintendent of Parks & Recreation in Rutland. “I have really enjoyed my involvement in this project and am looking forward to pushing on to the southern segments. I am an avid biker and a resident of the New North End, and am pleased to be able to re-open the path, what we now refer to as to as the Burlington Greenway, and present it to everyone in Burlington and beyond. This path does so much more than take you from point A to point B; it connects many of our beloved parks, provides access to people of all ages and abilities, provides pause places with bike racks, exercise equipment and places to relax, enjoy the view, access the beach and lake, it connects with neighborhoods and exciting commercial districts, and it is a linear park itself!”

 

Northern Bike Path Rehabilitation

Work on the northern portion of the Bike Path has constituted Phase 2 of the Bike Path rehabilitation, with Phase 1, from Perkins Pier to North Beach, completed in summer 2017. Phase 2 is the longest stretch yet completed, with just over three miles of full reconstruction from just north of North Beach overpass to the intersection of North Avenue Extension, and additional paving from North Avenue Extension to the Winooski River Bridge. Including Phase 1, the reconstructed Bike Path now runs from Perkins Pier to the Winooski River.

  

In addition to upgrading the paved path to the new wider standards of “2-11-2,” including 2’ aggregate shoulder, 11’ of asphalt paving and another 2’ aggregate shoulder, the project also included major improvements to stormwater and drainage, street crossings, and all neighborhood access points. This overhaul will greatly improve the life of the path and users will enjoy the improvements. The path is heavily used by commuters and recreationalists. Last year (from September 2016-September 2017) DPRW estimated over five hundred thousand users took advantage of the Bike Path. 

 

Some other highlights include:

  • Restoring long-lost railroad era culverts from the 19th century
  • Enhancing landscaping and stormwater management features that protect Lake Champlain
  • Working with neighbors and land owners to renegotiate right of way access that allowed for the new wider standards to go all the way northward
  • Addressing environmental issues such as wetland buffers, completing critical/endangered plant species inventory, and bat habitat preservation

 

Future work on the Burlington Bike Path

Next spring, crews will complete the top coat of asphalt on Phase 2b, paint the lines and finish any last touches of landscaping. Next summer plans include the creation of new Pause Places at Leddy Park and North Shore, which include additional fitness equipment as part of the UVM Medical Center Fitness Trail. The North Beach – Shore Road segment will close for a short window in May 2018 to allow contractors to put the finishing touches on the multi-use path in time for the Vermont City Marathon on May 29

 

Designs for Phase 3 (from Perkins Pier through Oakledge Park) will be developed in 2018 and construction for a large portion of that project will take place in the 2019 construction season.

  

For complete details about the project go to https://enjoyburlington.com/burlington-greenway-phase-2/

 

Sign up for the special Bike Path email list to be notified of project updates.

 

 

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Press Release Date: 
12/20/2017
City Department: 
Mayor's Office