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

Contract Awarded to Build Longest Bicycle Bridge in Wisconsin

January 28, 2016
Stephanie Miller: 608-267-8823
County Executive

                                               Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Dane County Preparing to Begin

                                                                         Construction of the Lower Yahara River Trail

A Wisconsin company has been awarded a bid to begin construction of the much anticipated Lower Yahara River Trail, connecting Dane County’s Lake Farm County Park with McDaniel Park in the Village of McFarland.  Following a competitive bidding process, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation awarded the contract to Janke General Contractors, Inc. located in Athens, Wisconsin for just over $5.9 million dollars. 

The nearly two and one half mile first phase of the project will start this spring and includes over 1 mile of bridges and boardwalk.  When completed in the summer of 2017 it will be the longest pedestrian/bicycle bridge and boardwalk that has never been used by trains or motor vehicles in Wisconsin.

“We are excited to begin construction on this long anticipated project and thankful to have the Wisconsin Department of Transportation as a partner to assist us with completing this very complex first phase of trail construction,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “Dane County has some of the best biking paths and access in the world, it is an important component to our quality of life that attracts many people to move and live here.”

The Lower Yahara River Trail will eventually link Lake Farm County Park with the City of Stoughton.  The initial construction phase of the project starting this spring will be funded with approximately $4.6 million of Federal Highway Administration Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) dollars and $1.3 million of Dane County funds.  The county has provided an additional $593,290 to date for design and engineering of the trail. 

The trail will also include an accessible fishing pier near the railroad trestle on Lake Waubesa along with rest stops and observation areas. 

Dane County Parks staff are working this winter to clear trees from the trail corridor that will be used to build timber frame shelters at other county parks and for a fish habitat improvement project on the north shore of Lake Waubesa.

Dane County Parks has been planning in coordination with bicycle stakeholders, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Wisconsin and Southern Railroad Company, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Village of McFarland, City of Madison, City of Monona, the Wisconsin Historical Society, GRAEF Engineers, KJohnson Engineers, the UW Milwaukee Cultural Resource Management Department, Ho-Chunk Nation  and the Army Corps of Engineers since 2008 to design the Lower Yahara River Trail.