Burlington Greenway: Phase 2 Bike Path Rehabilition

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

We are currently working on Phase 3

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.


5/18/2018 Burlington Greenway Is Open!

Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront has reopened the Phase 2b portion of the Burlington Greenway, from North Beach to Shore Road, ahead of schedule.  That means the entire Burlington section of the Island Line Trail is fully open to all users (please be advised to check the Town of Colchester and/or Local Motion for the most recent conditions on the Causeway, which sustained significant damage in a wind storm in early May). Final paving and most of the pavement markings, shoulder work, topsoil, seeding, landscaping, etc have been completed, with construction fencing and temporary access roads and bypasses currently being removed.
Greenway for Marathon Sunday
Last Friday, BPRW opened the path for the weekend, after completing paving, ahead of schedule and in expectation of good weather and large numbers of eager Greenway users. Monday, BPRW staff, project engineers and the contractor all made the decision to keep the path open while final touch-up work is being completed. The May 27th Vermont Marathon will mark the debut of the latest and longest section of Burlington’s beloved linear park. Stubborn wintry conditions at the beginning of the construction season eventually gave way to drier and warmer conditions, allowing contractors to make great progress and achieve a high standard of quality in recent weeks.
[NO] Icing on the Connections 
Final work on the newly formalized connection at Killarney Drive is currently being completed, with a new curb cut, adjacent sidewalk improvements and adjustments to a storm water drain. Improvements will prevent ponding and winter icing to ensure a barrier free and ADA compliant access. The Department of Public Works has additional upgrades planned to improve pedestrian and bicycle access to the this newly rehabilitated section of the Burlington Greenway with intersections improvements along North Ave.
The Push Continues
BPRW is currently working on final designs for two Pause Places within Phase 2, one at Leddy Park, which will include the fourth UVM Medical Center Fitness Trail exercise station, bike racks, benches and improved paving and landscaping. The second will be built at the northern-most lake access stairway at Northshore, and will include a newly developed, vandal-resistant staircase standard to replace the pressure treated lumber steps that were partially destroyed by fire last year. The same step style will be used to replace the failing wood steps connecting the back side of Leddy Arena to Leddy Beach. Construction is slated for late summer and fall 2018.
The Missing Bridge
The Overpass connecting North Beach to the adjacent campground is scheduled to be replaced between late fall 2018 and spring 2019. BPRW staff are advancing final designs in collaboration with VTRANS (who own this section of the right-of-way) and the Burlington Fire Department. Along with the engineering drawings, BPRW’s consultants are providing constructability feedback and incorporating sequencing recommendations in an effort to provide maximum value and minimal disruption to Greenway access during the busier seasons.
Phase 3: The Southern Campaign
BPRW staff are currently scoping the remaining untouched stretches of the Greenway, and will be issuing an RFP for design services in June. This section contains some of the most significant engineering challenges in the entire path, including the Barge Canal, tight squeezes between railroad fences and other fixed objects like the Blodgett factory and the relentless waves and wind coming in from Lake Champlain. With those challenges come great opportunities that Mayor Weinberger, BPRW Staff and others continue to explore to ensure that the southern sections of the Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation are as amazing at the rest of the path.

5/2/2018 Path Closes


The Burlington Greenway, from North Beach to Shore Road, will close to all traffic beginning Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 7am and will remain closed for two weeks. This section is scheduled to open again on Thursday, May 17, 2018, when minor work will continue until the end of May.

Paving work will begin tomorrow at the very north end of the project, including Charlie’s Boathouse access and the North Ave (Extension) intersection. Please use Our contractor will take advantage of the closure to finish preparing for the top coat of asphalt in the southern portion of the project.

Despite the challenging spring weather, work has proceeded as scheduled and we are expecting to have all of the main pathway finished and ready for the Vermont City Marathon on May 28. BPRW thanks you for your patience during this project. We are super excited to fully open the entirety of the Greenway for the summer, including the beautiful new 3.3 miles we began in June 2017!

4/10/2018 Spring Work Starts… Now!

2018 Start Up   

The calendar says it’s spring, our contractor says it’s spring, the weather… well… it’s trying. Work has kicked off for the season and is scheduled to wrap up in a few short weeks. The initial work will take place with the path still open, concentrating on intersection and connection work in preparation for the final paving from North Beach to Shore Road.

The Killarney Connection

Two goals for both bike path users and the City’s design engineers were to improve the quality of the pavement and improve connections to surrounding residential and commercial neighborhoods. We listened! Work wrapped up this week on the formalized connection at Killarney Drive, providing a gravel ramp for wheeled devices and a set of stairs with railings and connecting paths for those on foot. We had the good fortune to work with Killarney resident Patrick Standen, who happens to be the director of the Northeast Disabled Athletic Association and leads handcycle tours that utilize this access point to the Greenway (see video). Thanks also to everyone who has reached out to BPRW on this new connection!

Killarney Drive connection BEFORE
Killarney Drive connection AFTER

Intersections First

Preparation has begun for improvements at several intersections within Phase 2. Picking up where we left off at the onset of winter, our contractor started work on April 5th preparing a bypass for the intersection with Beachcrest Drive, which will be completely reconstructed to remedy the poor pavement condition and redirect all of the stormwater runoff into a new green swale at the southwest corner of the intersection. Stay tuned for more details about multiple stormwater swales that will be included in the landscaping plans! Work began at this intersection on Monday, April 9th. Please use extra caution as you approach and pass through this area.

Driftwood/Beachcrest Intersection Work

Also starting on Monday, work began on the North Avenue intersection at the northern end of the Greenway. Again, this intersection will be completely reconstructed to improve the quality of the pavement, safety and functionality. Additionally, the parking area at the southeast corner of the intersection will be formalized to consolidate parking, improve access and safety, and reduce erosion.

North Avenue Equipment Staging

Finishing Details

Subject to many factors (weather, opening of asphalt plants, etc.), the southern portion of the project (2b), from North Beach to Shore Road, is scheduled for a complete closure beginning in early May, lasting approximately 2 weeks. During that period, the North Avenue detour, from Institute Road to Shore Rd., will be reopened. Travel on the Greenway north of Shore Rd. and south of North Beach will remain open.

During the closure, the top layer of asphalt will be applied, lines and and other pavement markings will be painted, and the final shoulder gravel, topsoil, seed, mulch and landscaping will be installed. Yes, we will include more landscaping details in a future update. All of this is leading to the full completion and reopening of the Greenway in time for the Vermont City Marathon on May 27th, 2018.

Voila! Building a Better Greenway


3/30/2018 Finishing up Phase 2b

2018 Spring Schedule

  • 4/2 – 4/6: Killarney access completed
  • 4/9 – 5/1: Intersection work at North Ave. and Driftwood/Beachcrest, Sign installation
  • 5/2 – 5/16: FULL CLOSURE NORTH BEACH – SHORE ROAD Detour North Avenue from North Beach Campground/Institute Road to Shore Road. Top coat of asphalt, linestriping/pavement markings, shoulder and topsoil work, seeding and mulching. This is contingent upon weather and opening of asphalt plants
  • 5/27: Burlington Greenway Opens for Vermont City Marathon.

As spring finally settles in, our busy construction season will once again be in full swing.  We are eager to put the finishing touches on Phase 2 of the Bike Path Rehabilitation.  Beginning next week (April 2), our contractor will begin working on intersection reconstruction at several intersections between North Ave Extension and North Beach, establishing a pedestrian connection at Killarney Drive, and general site work in the southern portion of the project.

A full closure (of approximately 2 weeks) will occur, mostly likely in early May, (depending on weather and the opening of asphalt plants) for the repaving, shoulder construction, lines striping and landscaping in the southern portion of the project (North Beach to Shore Rd). The North Avenue detour will be in place; please use caution, obey the rules of the road and all of the posted detour signs.

All of the work is scheduled to be completed in time to be featured in the Vermont City Marathon on Sunday, May 27th. If you are training for the sure-to-be-epic event, or just want to get out and roll, ride or run, the path should be fully accessible up until this closure. Please watch out for construction crews and use extra caution around the immediate construction zones. Keep an eye out for brand new BPRW Greenway Wayfinding signage in the next few weeks. Don’t forget to sign up for regular project updates through our email list.

11/17 Final Phases of Phase 2b

A Matter of Degrees

Phase 2 is in the waning days of the 2017 construction season and the whole team is working hard to pave the remaining 1 ¼ miles from North Beach to Shore Road. Meanwhile, the push is on to complete as many intersections as possible before winter shutdown. As long as Mother Nature stamps an OK, our contractor plans to move in paving equipment today (Friday, November 17) and begin laying the base course of asphalt. The bike path’s asphalt will consist of two layers, a lower layer called the base course (made with larger stone or aggregate to provide a strong and stable base) and on top of that the wear course (made with finer stones and aggregate to provide a smooth riding finish). At this point, our contractor, paving subcontractor and resident engineers are all predicting that we will be able to get the base course in this year, but the wear course may have to wait until the spring. Stay tuned for paving schedule details early next week.


Schedule (Highly Subject to Weather Related Changes)

  • Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday, November 20-22, asphalt paving from North Beach to Shore Road (exact sequence TBD)
  • Late November – Mid December, 2017: Aggregate shoulder installation, topsoil grading, seeding/mulching, Killarney connection, staging area consolidation
  • Late December: Burlington Greenway OPEN from Queen City Park Road to Winooski River Bridge
  • Spring 2018, Late April – Mid-May: There will be a short term closure of the path, from North Beach to Shore Road, in the early spring, as soon as the weather and BPRW event schedule allows, to complete any unfinished work. The Greenway is expected to be fully open for the Burlington City Marathon on Sunday, May 27, 2017.

It’s All About the…You Know… Sub-base

We promise, this is the last time we’ll mention the importance of a substantial and well compacted sub-base of crushed gravel in a Burlington Greenway Phase 2 Construction Update. The waning days and hours of installing the ever-important, well-drained and structurally stable gravel sub-base are drawing to a close. Soon it will be invisible to the path user, but you, diligent Update reader, will know it’s there! In some locations, it’s 24” deep, and all told, Phase 2 will likely utilize 7566 cubic yards of the stuff. That’s 21,185,000 pounds and enough volume to cover a football field 4’ deep. And, within 5% of our engineer’s estimates from April. And that’s all sitting on top of 279,000 square feet of geotextile fabric, enough to cover over half of the New Orleans Superdome. The fabric and the sub-base, both invisible to the human eye, will be working hard for the next several decades to provide a stable base for the Burlington Greenway.

It’s All About Connection, Too

BPRW lives and breathes our 2015 Master Plan, and ten pages are devoted to the importance of connection. The Greenway serves as a spine linking parks, neighborhoods and countless other natural, cultural and commercial amenities. Through the Greenway design process, we collaborated with external and internal stakeholders to highlight these crucial linkages and designed upgrades to improve accessibility, visibility, resilience and aesthetics. Some highlights of Phase 2: major upgrades at Killarney Drive; improved side paths at Charlie’s Boathouse (in the works), Northgate, North Beach and Staniford Farms; and major safety and accessibility improvements at street intersections from Little Eagle Bay to North Avenue Extension. All fully rehabilitated sections of the path meet ADA standards.

And a Big Thank You to Greenway Users!

BPRW is closing in on another year of ambitious rehabilitation of the Burlington Greenway. Phase 2 is the longest stretch yet, with just over 3 miles of full reconstruction from just north of North Beach overpass to the intersection of North Avenue Extension, and roughly a quarter mile of asphalt overlay of the existing path from North Avenue Extension to the Winooski River Bridge. That’s 17,464 feet of brand new path for your walking and rolling pleasure. It was a big project, and a big disruption to the tens of thousands of people who cherish the Burlington Greenway, who since June have been detouring around the construction zones. So thank you, fans of the Greenway, for your patience and understanding as we undertook this major project! Please save a little patience for early next spring when the path will close briefly to allow our contractor to put on the finishing touches.


11/13 More Intersection Work

  • Today (Monday 11/13) crews will be cleaning up both North Ave and Starr Farm intersections.  By the end of the day, these two intersections will be complete and open to normal use.
  • Tomorrow (Tuesday 11/14)  through the rest of the week:  Crews will begin work on the Shore Road intersection and will have a temporary detour in place for approximately 1 week.

11/1 Intersection Construction

Please use caution at the northern intersections that cross the Greenway (Shore, Staniford, Starr Farm and North Ave. Ext.). Crews are reconstructing these crossings, vehicular traffic is reduced to one lane and there are very small detours around the work zones.

Construction work on southern section of Phase 2b (North Beach to Shore Road) is in full swing. Please continue to use the North Ave. detour.


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.)
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


10/27 Update

Phase 2a from Shore Road to the Winooski River is OPEN!

Have you had a chance to ride the recently opened northern section of Phase 2?

BPRW and our team of consultants are proud of the delicate balance that has been achieved between accessibility, engineering, ecology and aesthetics that are now visually apparent, in the northern sections of Phase 2. Thanks to our contractor and our team of resident engineers, environmental professionals, along with engaged neighbors for their collaborative spirit and patience.  Approximately 2 miles of glorious new path are open and ready for your rolling and walking pleasure. Please get out and enjoy it and let us know what you think!

Phase 2b is Off to the Races!

The new detour, from the North Beach Campground to Shore Road, is in place and our contractor has hit the ground running. Phase 2b contains some of the toughest sections of the path where poor drainage, insufficient sub-base, and years of wear and tear have left the original pavement in rough shape. We are excited to be replacing this section with our new standard of 11’ of well drained paving with 2’ shoulders on both sides, and adding improved storm water infrastructure and landscaping in many locations. Once completed, this section will traverse some of the wildest and most scenic landscapes found along the Burlington section of the path. Our contractor is currently wrapping up work on sub–surface drainage structures, removing paving and analyzing and preparing for the installation of the well-drained and structurally stable gravel sub-base.

BPRW rolls out new public information about Phase 2b of the Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation, which kicked off the first week of October

Real Time Changes = Long Term Benefits

Our top notch project team of resident engineers and environmental professionals continues to innovate, never settling for mere implementation but rather keeping their eyes and minds open to methods that can improve the ecological, structural, functional and aesthetic aspects of the project all while saving the City money on construction costs. Saving trees, revising grading to fit better into the landscape, paying close attention to connections to other trails and facilities in the corridor, and reusing components of the original path are all examples of real time adaptation and improvements that will result in a better project that users will enjoy for decades to come.

Sub-surface drainage structures will play an important role in maintaining the integrity of poorly drained sections of the bike path (e.g. through Rock Point)

Real Estate Results

There are many complications associated with a project that touches the boundary of hundreds of private homes, businesses and parks. BPRW is dedicated to providing the best recreation opportunities for everyone. With that in mind, BPRW, with great assistance from the City Attorney’s and Mayor’s Offices, is proud to have successfully negotiated easements that will result in a seamless 2’-11’-2’ standard width throughout the corridor where there is space, and an important new east-west connection at Killarney Drive. The everyday user of the bike path will reap the benefits of these efforts for a long time to come.

Railroad Era Structures

To ensure the long term stability of the Burlington Greenway, and fulfil our duty as stewards of the right of way and the surrounding environment, the project includes the rehabilitation of several drainage courses and stone culverts that carry water under the path. In many cases, several feet of silt had buried these structures and drastically reduced their functionality. This puts the path in jeopardy in an extreme weather event. Although working in these sensitive areas impacts existing trees and vegetation, repairing these structures and restoring their functionality will help protect the Greenway from being undercut during heavy storms. From this point forward, regular maintenance (removal of silt deposits) will be all that’s needed to keep them running freely.

Long lost structures, like this incredible stone culvert dating back to the original construction of the railroad in the 1800’s, have been uncovered and rebuilt, fully restoring drainage pathways crucial to the long term stability of the Burlington Greenway. Inset: these structures are frequently 100’ or more long, 30’ below the bike path –  and entirely made of dry laid stone; no metal, no concrete, no mortar!


And a special thank you to the children at Crow’s Path at Rock Point for inviting us to your morning fire circle to discuss the project and talk about our mutual love for trees.

10/13 North Beach Access Ramps Get Paved

Today paving crews are working on the access ramp from North Beach to the Greenway. This is along the current detour route, so please use caution and follow flaggers’ directions. The quick project should be completed in one day and will make the short ride up the hill a bit smoother. It will also be less prone to damage during heavy rains.

Evening update: paving is done, but it still needs time to set, so it’ll be a bit longer until we can ride on it!


And a special thank you to the children from Crow’s Path at Rock Point for inviting us to your morning fire circle to discuss the project and talk about our mutual love for trees.

10/7 Phase 2b Gets Underway


Phase 2a from Shore Road to the Winooski River Bridge is OPEN!

Approximately 2 miles of glorious new path are open and ready for your riding and walking pleasure. We’ve already gotten lots of compliments since this section officially opened on Thursday morning. Super smooth, beautifully landscaped, more accessible and accommodating, the new path beckons you to explore. There is some additional work that needs to happen in this section, including additional landscaping and intersection work at the major street crossings, so please be aware of construction activity when traveling the northern sections of the Greenway over the next several weeks.


Phase 2b from North Beach Campground to Shore Road is CLOSED!

The official closure and corresponding detour was activated the morning of Friday, October 6 and will remain in place for the rest of the construction season (likely the end of December). Please respect the signage, stay completely out of the work zone, and take advantage of access to the 2a/Northern Section of the path that recently reopened.

Work in the stone culvert to the south of Little Eagle Bay will begin immediately. The contractor will be removing approximately 140 cubic yards of silt that’s clogging it up. The beautiful engineering marvel from the original construction of the railroad has been buried in 6′ of silt and largely dysfunctional for years.

Click the image below to download the PDF flyer:


Trees 2b Saved

BPRW has finished inventorying trees in Phase 2b from North Beach Campground to Shore Road. We work hard to get ahead of our contractors, always pursuing a better project and product. During the inventory, BPRW Planning staff (with help from our resident engineer) marked 200 trees to be saved. From the Parks Master Plan to the Climate Action Plan, to the Shoreland Protection Act,  from feedback from path users, neighbors and our own BPRW staff, we know you love the trees along the path. Trees to be saved are marked with two bands of pink construction ribbon/flagging and a white spray painted dot at the base of the trunk. Please do not touch or remove any of the markings – this may result in the accidental removal of a tree intended to be saved!

Pruning and removal of trees that are obstructing proper installation of the path and stormwater infrastructure, grading and circulation systems, began on the morning of October 6 adjacent to North Beach Campground and will move north from there. This work included substantial populations of the invasive Norway maple.


Right of Way!

Throughout the project, we have been working closely with our partners at the State of Vermont, including VTRANS, who in fact own the Greenway Right of Way from the Urban Reserve to Staniford Road. They love the Greenway, too, and have been great partners and supporters since we began leasing the right of way from them in 1985.

State partners from the Department of Environmental Conservation, who help us manage and mitigate impacts to wetlands, rare and endangered plant and animal species and urban soils, are with us every step of the way making sure we are doing work with the lowest impact methods possible. In several instances, they have helped us find economical and ecological solutions to issues that arose during construction. Thank you State of VT!

Adjacent property owners! If you have plantings, irrigation, fencing, furniture, etc. in the bike path right of way (take a look here). Contact us if you have any questions or concerns.



On Wednesday,  October 4, 2017, by 6pm, phase 2a of the Burlington Greenway will be open to the public (Shore Rd. to the Winooski bridge). Simultaneously, BPRW will close Phase 2b (Shore Road to North Beach), for the remainder of the year.  Just like the other newly rehabilitated section, section 2b will also be built to the current multi-use path standards (11’ wide asphalt bike path with 2’ shoulders for walking/running on each side), and include stormwater improvements, upgraded path connections, enhanced intersections and landscaping.
The detour will be on North Avenue, and will run from Shore Road to Institute Drive. The detour is shorter than the 2a detour, and adds only 8/10 of a mile to your trip. For your safety, please follow the posted detour signs through the campground, as these roadways will also be used by construction vehicles.
This detour will be in effect through December and the goal is to get at base coarse of asphalt in before the ground freezes. Thank you for your patience as we build a better Greenway.

9/27 Access to the Winooski Bridge is OPEN


The Burlington Greenway will be closed to all traffic from North Ave. Extension to the Winooski River Bridge from 6:30AM – 5PM tomorrow, Wednesday, September 27, 2017. The contractor will be working on gravel shoulder and topsoil/seed installation.

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.