Burlington Greenway: Phase 2 Bike Path Rehabilition

Welcome to the page for updates about the Burlington Greenway: Bike Rehabilitation Project, Phase 2.

Additional information and supporting documents can be found on our new FAQ’s PAGE that we’ve begun to assemble in order to address questions we’ve received. If you have any specific questions or concerns that aren’t answered there, please send us an email.


Updated Project Schedule:

Early September: Intersection reconstruction phase 2a
Mid September: Paving from Shore Rd. to Winooski River Bridge
Late September: Set up detour for Phase 2b (North Beach Campground to Shore Rd.)
Early October: Phase 2a (Northern section from Shore Road to Winooski River Bridge) OPENS, Phase 2b CLOSES (southern section from North Beach to Shore Road)
Mid November: Paving Phase 2b

9/22 Bridge Access Reopened

The short section has been paved and shoulder work still needs to be completed during the week, but the access to the Winooski bridge is open for the weekend!

9/20 Closure Update

Burlington Greenway Winooski River Bridge Closure

The section between North Ave. Ext. to Winooski River Bridge has one lane closed with flagging the rest of the day today (9/20) for shoulder prep work

  • North Ave. Ext. to Winooski River Bridge will be fully closed for the day tomorrow (9/21) for paving.
  • North Ave. Ext. to Winooski River Bridge will be open the morning of Friday, (9/22) and remain open for the weekend.
  • There will be additional closures during weekdays to complete shoulder work on this segment.

Paving work is nearing completion on the northern segments of the Burlington Greenway (from Shore Road to the Winooski River Bridge). The northernmost section has been kept open to maximize connectivity to the Island Line Bike Ferry, the Colchester and South Hero sections of the path. This entire section of Phase 2a is scheduled to be open the first week of October, 2017.

All dates subject to change due to weather, materials availability and contractor scheduling

9/12 Paving Update

Paving has been pushed back a bit due to the excessive rain last week. Weather for the next week is looking quite good for paving so we are expecting to start tomorrow, 9/13 between Shore & Staniford roads.

Prepare for paving from North Ave. Ext to the Winooski Bridge, scheduled for some time 9/18-20, and should be done within 1-2 days. At that time the path will be closed from the bridge to the south.

All dates subject change due to weather, etc.

9/6 Update

Almost Ready for Paving
We’ve said it before, but we need to say it again… our contractor has been rolling out sub-base like it’s a gravel carpet, now nearing completion on the northern portion from Staniford to North Avenue Extension. Slopes are complete in this area, and they have been seeded and mulched and, in many cases, already support a green carpet of vegetation. All of this in preparation for paving, starting on September 13! That will tie everything together!
Making Connections
Speaking of tying things together, we are starting to reestablish connections to surrounding neighborhoods and trails. We’re all about the East-West connections (as mentioned in our Master Plan), and we the design and construction of these affect everything from accessibility to ecology. Everyone gets on the path somewhere, and if you live in Burlington, it’s typically whichever access point – big and public or small and hidden – is nearest your house, apartment, bus stop, condo, etc. We pay close attention to details to get these right.
Finding Solutions
We cannot say enough about our team of consulting professionals that continuously collaborate and think creatively. The latest example is working with State regulators and our DPW Stormwater team to design a solution for intercepting water that is saturating the soils east of the Greenway in the Northshore area. Within days, the issue was vetted with State regulators in charge of protecting the Class 1 wetland, and with our design engineer, State stormwater regulators and Jenna Olson of our Department of Public Works Stormwater team.
Phase 2b [to be]
As preparations for paving are happening in the northern part of the project, our contractor is beginning to shift to the southern portion of the project area [Phase 2b] from just north of the North Beach overpass to Shore Road. Dig Safe has been through to mark utilities, and our contractor’s surveyor is marking out wetlands and buffers in that stretch, and then will move on to marking the limits of disturbance with wood stakes and double orange tape (see photo below). From there, BPRW and our resident engineer will look at trees within the limits of disturbance to work towards saving as many as possible.

8/25 Update

Permits Cleared

With inventories of potential rare, threatened or endangered plant species completed, the ‘all clear’ has been given by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and the entire northern section of the project is being prepped for a scheduled September 12 paving date! Please use caution when approaching the intersections with North Avenue Extension, Starr Farm Road and Staniford Road as there will be continuous hauling of gravel subbase through these sections in the next several weeks. In the southernmost section of the active construction zones, all grading has been completed and now fully vegetated side slopes and sturdy subbase gravel await the insertion of the asphalt bike lane and gravel shoulders that will complete the bike path!

Slopes are greening up between Shore Rd. & Staniford Rd. awaiting asphalt paving and shoulder construction

Saving the Trees (and Preventing the Spread the Invasives)!

Our Planning Division has teamed with our Trees & Greenways staff to inventory trees within the project limits that were originally intended to be removed to accommodate construction. With this effort we’ve been able to save many valuable trees, large and small, throughout the project. We are also staying ahead of the game and preventing our contractor from impacting populations of invasive species, knowing that many of them gain an advantage through construction disturbance. That way, our expert team can come back and focus on eradication of invasive exotic plants.  we continue to advocate for ecology in the corridor, along with our resident engineers, who never stops thinking of ways to make the project better, more efficient or less expensive!

Individual trees are marked to be saved and protected during construction

Still Making the Most of the Detour

No one loves the bike path closure, but we continue to hear great stories of path users that like the detour. Why? They end up leisurely biking through the adjacent residential neighborhoods, and being able to conveniently stop at the plethora of commercial establishments in the North Avenue Corridor. Need a cold beverage, a sandwich or barbecue supplies, stop at Bessery’s or the Short Stop. If spring rolls or pork dumplings are more your thing, take a break on the detour at Namaste Asian Deli. It’s also a great opportunity to practice road biking skills for some, and we hope our helpful map & tips at the beginning and end of the detour route has helped provide useful info.

8/11 Update


It’s full steam ahead for Phase 2a! Our contractor is digging and laying sub-base along all segments of Phase 2a. Our project scientist and the VT DEC have given the “green light” for full bike path work in the area between Staniford Road and Northshore. This area was off limits for excavation until our consultant’s staff scientist and the VT DEC had a chance to inventory the area for potential populations of rare, threatened or endangered plant species. This investigation needed to wait until late July/early August to ensure that these plants had matured to a point that they could be identified with certainty. Our contractor developed a flexible work plan to accommodate this restriction in the early part of the project, and can now proceed full force.

Add this to the late winter bat tree investigation and preemptive removals, the addition of substantial green stormwater infrastructure, the repair of old drainage structures and the planting of 100’s of shrubs, perennials, and trees with a focus on pollinator plants (our project landscape architect is a beekeeper, after all), the ongoing rehabilitation of the Burlington Greenway just keeps getting greener!

It’s All About the Sub – base…

Have we said that before? As stewards of the iconic lakeshore bike path, BPRW knows the time is now to rehabilitate the path for the present as well as the next generation. With direction from the Bike Path Task Force, overwhelming support from Burlington voters, we know the time is now to build it right. Yes, we are focused on green infrastructure, public safety, accessibility and connectivity, we are also huge believers in sustainable engineering that will last for a long time. One important piece of the bike path that will never be seen is the subbase, a well drained and incredibly stable layer of geotextile fabric topped with coarse gravel that goes beneath the finished surface of asphalt. Our contractor is using a unique and efficient piece of specialty equipment that automatically unrolls the fabric, distributes the sub-base gravel in exact amounts and at the correct elevation, eliminating wasted material and drastically reducing the time, labor and equipment usage typically associated with this portion of the project. Yeah, it’s still all about the sub-base!

Check it out in action!

On the Subject of Soils and Excavation

Soils always play an important role in BPRW projects, especially within the Burlington Greenway. Under the direction of the project’s Qualified Environmental Professional, and our collaborative working relationship with the VT DEC, BPRW undertook additional characterization of soils to ensure soils are being reused on the project whenever possible. When we know the soil characteristics of the former rail right-of-way, we can make better decisions about what to do with the soil. That means that we’re sending less to landfills, saving a lot of money that can be used to add great things to the project, while being good stewards of the landscape.

Slope work is nearly complete in the southernmost section of Phase 2a of the Burlington Greenway, from Shore to Staniford Roads. In most sections of phase 2a, the path grade is being raised to improve drainage conditions and minimize the cost of excavating and moving soil. The raised slopes are being blanketed in topsoil to support healthy plant growth for the landscaped intersections and green storm water structures in the project, and for subsequent additional planting that BPRW is working on for next year and beyond. Additionally, we are bringing in rich topsoil as a part of our management plan and we are happy to report that the material our contractor is supplying is beautiful stuff that will support long-term healthy plant growth.

The Detour!

We’ve received a lot of feedback about the detour since the project started in late June, but even we were surprised to hear our North Beach Campground Manager say that several campers have expressed how much they are enjoying it. What?

It seems that a number of North Beach guests have said that they’ve been riding the same path for decades (and of course they love it), but are really happy the detour has pushed them to ride through the beautiful suburban neighborhoods of the North End and discovered some of the commercial establishments on North Avenue, like stopping to have a Bessery’s bratwurst and a Good Neighbor IPA!

For bikers that might not be as experienced riding on shared streets, we’ve added banners to encourage safe bike riding on the detour, have supplemented our initial detour sign package with additional signage and plan to add more. Here’s a link to the blog post about it:

7/25 Update

It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like [A] Bike Path…

Slope work is nearly complete in the southernmost section of Phase 2a of the Burlington Greenway, from Shore to Staniford Roads. In most sections of phase 2a, the path grade is being raised to improve drainage conditions and minimize the cost of excavating and moving soil. The raised slopes are being blanketed in topsoil to support healthy plant growth for the landscaped intersections and green storm water structures in the project, and for subsequent additional planting BPRW is working on for next year and beyond.

And Meanwhile, In the North…

Our contractor is now working on multiple fronts, strategically staging crews to follow one after the other to maximize efficiencies. Next up for this section is subbase. You remember, it is all about the subbase, and we’re sticking to our standard detail of 9” of well compacted crushed gravel so the asphalt pavement lasts a long time. We’re building for the long haul!

Another crew is busy in the northern reaches of the project, from North Shore to North Avenue Extension, removing asphalt, installing tree protection and erosion control, and preparing for the grading operation to move in. Out ahead of them, our Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Planning Division and Trees & Greenways Team have inventoried trees in the construction zone and continued their efforts to improve the project in real time, saving dozens of large trees through engineering modifications.

And In Between…

In the section between, we are awaiting a visit from experts at the VT DEC to verify our project will not adversely impact specific plant populations. Once we’re given the go ahead, crews will conduct selective vegetation removal, asphalt removal, slope grading and subbase construction in preparation for paving in the fall.

Looking ahead, there is extensive improvement work at several intersections in phase 2a, as well as significant storm water infrastructure and repair of drainage courses and culverts. When all is done, the Greenway will be, well, really green!

7/14 Update

Let the Excavation Begin…

Vegetation clearing is complete at the northern and southern ends of phase 2a, with asphalt removal and initial rough grading happening between Shore Road and Staniford Road and also south of North Avenue extension. Asphalt removed from the project will be recycled at a local facility, and we are working diligently with our Qualified Environmental Professional, Resident Engineers and the Vermont DEC to minimize soil management costs on the projects and, for the most part, keep most of the material on site.

Excavation will begin in the south section of the closed portion early next week.

The Plants, the Plants!

Our contractor is utilizing multiple crews to move the project forward efficiently, with the exception of a stretch north of Starr Farm Road and a couple of sections to the south. We are waiting for the State DEC to investigate specific plant populations in the corridor. Additionally, a BPRW crew is staying ahead of the operation, geolocating saved and cut trees and mapping populations of aggressive invasive species (i.e. knotweed) and making recommendations to our contractors for how to limit the spread of the plants.

Reminder About the Path Closure

No Offence, But a Fence is a Fence!

Please do not access the closed portions of the path. Even when there isn’t active construction, the site remains closed for your safety. This includes the weekends too.

Continue to follow the detour route. Remember to respect the neighborhoods that the detour passes through and use best safety practices. Bikers should ride single file and stay out of the middle of the road. Additional detour signage has been ordered and will be installed in coming weeks. Keep in mind that YES, you can still access the Winooski river bridge into Colchester.


  • We are reminding everyone that the bike path REALLY IS CLOSED from Shore Road to North Ave Extension. Anyone who enters the closure is putting themselves and the contractors at risk.  If you enter the closure, you are trespassing.
  • If anyone witnesses vandalism to any of the closure gates or signage, please report it immediately to Burlington Police Department (802) 658-2704.
  • Trucks hauling chips to McNeil Generating Plant will be turning off the path onto Starr Farm Rd tomorrow and possibly Friday. Please use caution in this area.
  • We know you don’t love the construction closure, but know you will love the new, improved Burlington Greenway when it opens back up at the end of the year. Thanks for your patience and understanding.
  • And…please do not remove any tree markings in the corridor! BPRW staff, along with our resident engineer and contractor, walked the northern portions of the project area today and remarked many large oaks, maples and birches that were marked to be saved, but pink ribbon had been removed since they were originally marked. Those beautiful trees could have easily been cut by our contractor! Please, don’t mess with the markings!

6/29 Update


Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront has begun the project to rehabilitate the Burlington Greenway through the northern portions of the waterfront bike path. We have currently closed the path between Shore Road and North Avenue Extension.


Click the map to view larger.

We are expecting the closure to remain from now through September. Phase 2b closure will tentatively begin at the end of September through December as work continues in the southern portion between North Beach and Shore Rd.


Click the map to view larger.




To allow for the planned construction widening the Greenway from its current 8 feet to 11 feet (with additional 2 feet of aggregate shoulder), some trees will be removed in advance of the construction to meet standards for safety and accessibility. Parks, Recreation & Waterfront has worked closely with expert support from the City Arborist to minimize the number of trees for removal necessary to achieve these goals.

Limits of Construction: no disturbance outside of orange tape attached to wood stakes

In some cases, trees are being removed to ensure proper drainage and stormwater management for the longevity of the new Bike Path and the health of Lake Champlain. The City Arborist was on site last week and analyzed all of the trees within the limits of construction and tagged trees that will remain untouched with pink ribbon. The construction limits are marked with orange ribbon. The project team is monitoring the work and minimizing the number of trees to be removed.

Trees to Save: trees within the limits of construction that will not be removed are marked with pink ribbon and one other color
Trees to be removed: Spray painted text on trunk indicates size

Stay tuned for information on a special BPRW program to replace trees removed during the construction project.


6/16 Update: Q&A About The Upcoming Construction

Click on the map to view larger.
What’s up with construction?
The project/contractor’s proposal was approved by Board of Finance and City Council on June 5, and since then BPRW and our consulting engineers have been busy negotiating the sequencing and detour plan that best fits the needs of path users and local stakeholders, while accommodating our contractors schedule for efficient and cost effective construction. We have also been working to meet the  ecological requirements for thorough investigation of plant species in the northern portion of the project. At this time we have a finalized schedule and are pleased with our contractor’s response and eager to get them started on the project.
Where and when will construction start?
Construction begins in the northern portion of the project and extends to the City of Burlington limits at the bridge over the Winooski River.
The section from Shore Road to North Avenue Extension will (tentatively) close at 7 AM on Wednesday, June 21 until late September, 2017
Is there a detour?
Yes, North Avenue will be used for the detour for Phase 2. The detour will utilize Shore Road at the south end of this section and North Avenue Extension at the north end to access north Ave. BPRW collaborated with Local Motion and the Department of Public Works to minimize the impacts and maximize the safety for the path users. See the map for details.
This will be a big hassle, is it worth it?
Yes. We apologize that the detour will be a bit of an inconvenience. But it’s only temporary! The response from this spring to the opening of the new section through the Urban Reserve to North Beach Campground has been overwhelmingly and enthusiastically positive. It’s been gratifying for BPRW staff to watch people discover, appreciate and use its many new spaces. We do apologize in advance for any inconvenience, request your patience and understanding, and assure you: We’re building a better Greenway, Burlington.
What’s next?
Immediate impacts you’ll notice are that Leddy Park will have some equipment in the parking lot, but for this Northern section, most of the staging will be at Starr Farm. We will continue to send frequent updates on the project as it progresses!

6/8 Update: Contractor Vehicles On The Path

BPRW is gearing up for the Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation Phase 2 construction, impacting the lakeshore path from North Beach to the end of the Burlington section of the path at the Winooski River. While section closures and heavy construction is still a week or so away, please be advised that our contractor is currently surveying throughout the project area and will be driving small trucks and/or utility carts. These vehicles are equipped with amber flashing lights and will likely be all/mostly pulled off the path surface where room allows. Please exercise caution when traveling through this area and stay alert for contractor vehicles on/near the path.

We’re building you a better Greenway, Burlington…thanks for your patience! We will update with detour maps and project sequencing as soon as the information is available. Stay tuned!

6/5 Update: Construction Staging Begins

Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront continues their ongoing rehabilitation of the bike path beginning the week of June 5 and ending for the season in December of 2017. The Burlington Greenway Phase 2 Construction project area runs from North Beach Campground to the Winooski River Bridge, will be completed in 2-3 distinct segments, and involve path closures of approximately 2 miles with corresponding detours to North Avenue. Staging and equipment/material access to the path will primarily be located at Leddy Arena parking lot, and will involve the use of Leddy Park Road in both directions by our contractor.

Please be cautious as you travel to and through Leddy Park and along Phase 2 project area and obey all signs and follow detours carefully. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we build a better bike path and apologize in advance for any inconvenience. Please direct all questions or concerns to BPRW: 802.864.0123

4/10 Update: Soil Sampling

As work continues on the Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation Project, the City is preparing to collect soil samples between North Beach Campground and the intersection with North Avenue Extension (just south of the Winooski River bridge). Work will be happening between Tuesday, April 11th and Friday April 14th. The path will remain open to the public for use during this time, though crews may narrow the travel-way to a single lane at times using orange traffic cones. Please be aware of this work and use extra caution in these areas while you enjoy the Burlington Greenway this week!

4/4 Update: Early Tree Work Begins

Beginning Wednesday morning, April 5, BPRW will take a small, ecologically sensitive step towards our goal of reconstructing the northern section of the Burlington Greenway from north of the North Beach underpass to the mouth of the Winooski River. Under the guidance of a VHB Environmental Scientist with expertise in avian and bat ecology we will be removing 14 potential (bat) roosting trees ahead of the beginning of the roosting season for the Northern Long-eared Bat. These trees have been identified as potential roosting trees based on physical characteristics such as size and bark texture. BPRW worked diligently with our engineers to reduce the number of trees to be removed (from 23 to 14). Removing them ahead of April 15 allows the bats to select alternate trees that will not be subject to construction impacts during their key maternity roosting  period.

In our ongoing efforts to create a greener Greenway and always leave more than we have taken, Phase 2 (not including pause places) will see the planting of 21 hardwood trees including maples, oaks and birches, 500+ woody shrubs and over 1300 perennials. Additionally, 6.5 acres of new grass berms and 1/3 acre of new green storm water treatment basins will reduce erosion, and reduce and filter the storm water runoff that reaches Lake Champlain. With the construction of several pause places at a later date, much more planting of trees, shrubs and perennials will be incorporated.

The rehabilitation of the northern portion of the Burlington Greenway will necessitate full closures with detours. BPRW works hard to minimize construction impacts, however, full closures will allow our contractor to efficiently complete work of the highest quality. Stay tuned for construction schedule and detailed detour information. Thanks for understanding the big picture!

3/23 Update: Preliminary Design Phase

This summer Phase 2 of the Bike Path rehabilitation will begin. Construction is planned to run from North Beach to the Winooski River Bridge. Designs will also include new pause places and intersections, storm water treatment, connectivity and vegetation management. Construction of the Pause Places will happen at later dates.  The City’s design team recently presented 75% drawings for the path itself (pause place designs will remain conceptual for now), and will oversee the bidding process in April, with construction slated to begin shortly thereafter.