Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Executive, Local Officials Kick-Off Opening of Brand New Trail

August 24, 2010
Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606
County Executive

Ceremonial “First Ride” Held on New Ice Age Junction Trail Linking Verona to Southwest Side Madison

County Executive Kathleen Falk and Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer joined members of the Madison Community Foundation and a number of families Tuesday to kick-off a ceremonial “first ride” for a brand new trail connecting neighborhoods on Madison’s southwest side with Verona and beyond.

The new Ice Age Junction Bicycle/Pedestrian Trail is two miles long and includes a 200 foot underpass that will connect bicyclists, walkers, and runners with everything from the Verona Library to schools and various parks in the area.  It will provide a direct link from the southwest side to the Military Ridge State Trail and feed into both the Capital City and Badger State Trails.

“Thanks to an innovative public/private partnership of Dane County, the Cities of Madison and Verona and the Madison Community Foundation, this exciting new trail and underpass will add so much to the quality of life for so many in Dane County,” County Executive Kathleen Falk said.  “The enormous scenic beauty of the national Ice Age Trail is one of the great close to home getaways here in Dane County.”

Falk noted the underpass to improve the safety of waking, jogging, and biking, goes under East Verona Avenue and cost around $484,000 to build - - $252,000 of which was contributed by Dane County, $150,000 from the Madison Community Foundation, and $82,000 from the City of Verona.

The trail itself cost just over $426,000 with costs shared between Dane County ($109,000), the City of Madison ($55,000), the Madison Community Foundation ($15,000, and Federal Transportation funding ($247,000).

“Completing this trail connection is a great example of cities, the county, and the private sector working together to enhance recreation opportunities and transportation connections for area residents,” Verona Mayor Jon Hochkammer said.

“We at Madison Community Foundation are proud to be part of the effort to connect trails for bike and pedestrian trails around the county,” Kathleen Woit of the Madison Community Foundation said.  “Completion of the Verona portion of the Ice Age Junction Trail is a testament to how groups can successfully join to bring the dream of a well-connected bike transportation system into reality.  Generations of Dane County residents will safely use this trail for recreation and transportation.” 

The underpass is the first in Wisconsin to utilize high efficiency LED lighting and also a skylight to maximize daytime light.  It will provide a safe crossing for both users of the bicycle trail and the Ice Age National Scenic Trail.

It took around a year and a half to design and plan the new trail and around six months to construct it.  The trail and underpass were built using a combination of Dane County employees and private contractors.

Dane County Parks Commission Chair Bill Lunney noted that Dane County and the Ice Age Trail Alliance have been working for many years to secure the corridor of land needed for this trail, which was first recommended back in 1993 by the Ice Age Junction Area Project Plan.  “Thanks to the efforts of many, this trail will allow bicyclists and pedestrians to enjoy the beauty of our county, while still preserving our area’s geological heritage for the future,” Lunney said.