Planning will start this summer to fill in a missing link on a bike path stretching for 140 miles across Wisconsin.
Officials in Dane County timed the announcement of the Capital City Bike Trail connection to coincide with Earth Day.
"The need for this missing trail link has been highly recognized by bicyclists for more than a decade, said new Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. "With this link in place, one could ride from Governor Dodge
State Park all the way to Miller Park.”
Under the plan shared by Parisi, a combination of money from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will be tapped to cover the $270,000 in planning costs. Actual construction of the trail would follow, with the cost yet-to-be determined.
The goal is to create a primarily off-road path from Wagon Trail Rd. in Madison to the western end of the Glacial Drumlin Trail in Cottage Grove. The route would follow the corridor of the Union Pacific Rail Line.
Construction of the first 1.6 miles on the eastern portion of the connection is scheduled to start in 2012. The initial cost will be $340,000.
The timing of the full project will depend on the availability of money from the federal Transportation Enhancement Program and the cost of the property acquisition, which could be substantial.
The Capital City Bike Trail is roughly 17 miles, mostly asphalt, connecting the Military Ridge Trail west of Madison to the city's campus, Monona Terrace and eastern business district.
The Glacial Drumlin Trail is roughy 52 miles, mostly crushed stone, that starts in Waukesha and ends in Cottage Grove. It connects to the New Berlin Recreation Trail, extending the reach into Greenfield Park in Milwaukee County.