Progress continues on the extension of the Glacial Drumlin Trail in Cottage Grove to the Capital City Trail in Madison, but bike riders hoping to make the trek this year will have to wait a little longer.
While village officials are moving ahead with its portion of the project, thanks to a $554,800 Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant, Dane County is a little slower on its end.
“We are currently working on design and engineering for the segment of trail between the interstate (39/90) and Buckeye Road, and are at about 60 percent completion,” said Chris James, senior landscape architect with Dane County Land and Water Resources-Parks Division. “We are also working with the DOT (Department of Transportation), DNR (Department of Natural Resources) and Wisconsin and Southern Railroad on negotiating terms of the shared right of way for both the trail and railroad to co-exist through the corridor under the interstate. My best estimate now is we should be finalizing plans and approvals by early 2021 for the segment between the interstate and Buckeye Road, with construction potentially in 2022 pending available funds.”
The connection between Buckeye Road and Cottage Grove is possibly even farther down the road.
“We are still trying to acquire lands necessary for the trail between Buckeye Road and Cottage Grove,” James said. “Timing for that segment is uncertain.”
In Cottage Grove, officials will begin work this year on connecting the trailhead in the village with a point that will become the east end of the Dane County portion.
“The off-road path will run along the east end of Clark Street, replacing the sidewalk that currently exists on the south side of the street,” according to a May 15 memo from JJ Larson, director of public works, to the Cottage Grove Village Board. “As it heads west, the path will move through Bakken Park, utilizing some of the existing path there.
During the initial application and concept planning, there was no plan to have real estate work needed, as the project will stay entirely inside the right-of-way of Clark Street. However, now that officials are into the design aspect of the project, it has become clear there will be some real estate work required.
“Specifically, we will need to have temporary limited easements from the property owners along two blocks of Clark Street,” Larson said. “These allow work on private property, in order to match grade of existing driveways for the most part, while not needing a permanent easement granted, as the finished project still remains entirely in the existing right-of-way.”
Larson said the village is working on a three-party contract with the DOT and MSA (village engineering firm) the engineering and design of the project.
Because this real estate work is not eligible for funding through the TAP grant, the village will pay MSA for the work, estimated at $45,850.
Larson said the costs will be covered by the village planned project borrowing in 2021.