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Burlington Greenway Updates

Works Begins!

July update

Phase 3a Construction kicked off on June 17, when our contractor mobilized and began layout and vegetation removal. Ahead of them, BPRW staff and the City Arborist had marked trees within the construction limits that can be saved with tree protection and strategic draining.

To celebrate the start of this season’s work, Mayor Miro Weinberger and Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront held a press event on June 18 at the southernmost point of the path at Queen City Park Road we refer to as Segment Zero. Weinberger, South End City Councilor Joan Shannon, BPRW Director Cindi Wight and Parks Commission member and Burlington Parks Foundation founder John Bossange all spoke to the gathering of about 30 people, then grabbed shovels and hard hats and broke ground on this less know portion of the Greenway, aptly dubbed Segment 0. BPRW staff, Local Motion Director Karen Yacos, Bike Path pioneer Rick Sharpe, North Star Sports Manager J.P., State Representative Curt McCormack, along with the design engineer and contractor staff and members of the press gathered to celebrate the start of first piece of the south end portion of the Greenway. Special thanks for Local Motion for providing the electric assist cargo bike and Brio Coffee for donating drip coffee and cans of cold brew.

L to R: Jon Adams-Kollitz, Joan Shannon, Mayor Miro Weinberger, John Bossange, Cindi Wight, Nina Safavi

Rough grading has been completed on a 200’ section from Home Ave. southward. Initially the slope was 9%,but it’s now lowered to be under 5% and thus compliant with the American’s with Disabilities Act standards for accessible facilities. This will also make the path more visible and attractive to bikers and walkers, it will also prevent excessive ice buildup in the winter months, which had previously been a problem. This section will be completed by the end of July and reopened to the public. For now, it is closed to all users, with a suggested detour of either Industrial Ave. or Pine St. Expect all of the standard Greenway details: 11’ (in some cases 10’) asphalt paving with pavement markings, 2’ gravel shoulders on each side, concrete pads with detectable warning pads at all intersections and other current safety and accessibility standards. When completed, segment zero will connect with an already completed on-road section on Austin Drive, freshly paved with a combination of dedicated bike lanes or sharrows (shared-lane marking) depending on road width. Thanks to our friends at the Department of Public Works for completing this work under their annual paving contract. In the future, with the construction of the Champlain Parkway, and its accompanying multi use path, this area will be an important intersection for path users, with two multi use paths intersecting between the railroad corridor, the Parkway and Home Avenue.

The Schedule

Beginning in mid or late July, the contractor will leapfrog Oakledge Park (currently scheduled for reconstruction in 2020), landing on the near side of the Lakeside neighborhood, where they will formalize Proctor Place as a narrow residential street, connecting the existing path as it comes out of Oakledge Park at the bridge over Engelsby Brook. This will remedy the last of several undifferentiated street/path scenarios and make efficient use of a narrow residential street by sharing the road with path users. From there, the path heads east, continuing as an on-street facility for bicycles on Harrison Ave.. From mid-July through mid-August, the detour will bypass the construction zone via Flynn Avenue, Pine Street and Maple Street.

Late summer/early fall will see construction crews move to the Barge Canal, Roundhouse Point and Perkins Pier area. At that point, the Oakledge – Lakeside connection will have re-opened and the detour will push to the north, from Lakeside Avenue to Maple Street via Pine Street. Current schedules have the project substantially complete in mid to late November, with landscaping and other finishing touches installed the following spring.

Work Continues at North Shore Pause Place

Work is progressing at the North Shore Pause Place, with concrete work, shoulder reconstruction and a portion of the landscaping completed ahead of the Vermont City Marathon in late May. Our contractor has recently returned to install low impact helical pilings that will hold the new steel and wood staircase connecting the Greenway with beach below. Being the first (and somewhat complex) installation of the new BPRW standard stair design, staff has been working to get the details right while emphasizing resilient design and use of local materials and in-state fabrication. BPRW expects Northshore to be fully complete in August. Stay tuned for further details as they become available.

 

 

June 17

Phase 3a of the Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation kicks off on Monday, June 17 in the section between Queen City Park Road and Home Avenue. The path will be closed to all traffic until completion, scheduled for mid-July. Industrial Avenue is the suggested detour. Please be advised of the closures and obey all detour signs.

BPRW’s contractor is building several sections of the southern portion of the Greenway between now and the end of the season in late November/early December. We are pleased to report that eachwill be built and reopened in separate phases to minimize disruption to bike path access during the busiest period of use. The schedule is as follows:

  • Late June/Early July: Queen City Parkway to Home Avenue
  • Mid-July to late July: Proctor Place/Harrison Avenue (Detour Flynn Avenue to Maple Street)
  • Mid-August to November/December: Barge Canal and Roundhouse Point (Pause Place)
  • Mid-October to November/December: Perkins Pier walkways

 

 

 

 

Treework

BPRW crews have marked trees to be saved in the Queen City Parkway to Home Avenue section with double pink tape and white spray paint. Please do not disturb any of these markings (a tree intended to be saved may be inadvertently removed). As on previous phases, BPRW has included a substantial replanting/landscaping component for this project. Additionally, BPRW will preemptively remove ash trees that will eventually succumb to the emerald ash borer and replant with a diverse selection of disease resistant and largely native species.

June Update

Archaeological work in Oakledge

Starting Friday, June 14,  UVM’s Consulting Archaeology Program will begin doing some work, well in advance of any Path rehabilitation work in Oakledge Park. Because the park is known to have a long history of use, we’re taking the time to ensure that any artifacts are noted. They will be focusing on the new alignment by the Upper Pavilion parking lot and the new section that crosses to the  Path north of the Upper Pavilion, as well as along the edge of the Path by the new playground.

This should not interfere with any park use.

April Update

Pause Places

Ahoy North Shore!

Work continues on completing the Phase 2 Pause Places in the New North End. In the far north, work began at the tail end of last season on the North Shore Pause Place and beach access. Just before freeze-up, contractors poured a beautifully curved board formed concrete wall that will contain the newest of the Greenway’s bike path stops. The design borrows from the material palette and design language of the popular pause places in the Urban Reserve. This striking and remote location will feature exposed aggregate concrete paving, bike racks, garbage and recycling containers and will debut BPRW’s standard stair system that features powder coated steel structure and sustainable wood steps and risers.
Once working conditions allow, this work will go quickly and there will be minimal disruptions to Greenway access. The concrete pouring and the installation of the prefabricated stair system by crane will likely necessitate short-term closures. Please monitor BPRW social media for the latest updates.

Leddy is Ready – For A Pause Place

Leddy Park Arena and Beach have become a focal point of BPRW programming and facilities in the New North End in recent years. The Arena is proud to be the home ice facility for Burlington’s youth hockey organization (BAHA), Burlington and Colchester boys & girls high school hockey programs, the Vermont Lumberjacks junior hockey program, Full Stride adult hockey programs, and the Champlain Valley Skating Club, which includes Vermont Children’s Theatre on Ice and On Thin Ice adult theatre troupe. The parking lot behind the Arena plays host to Leddy Beach Bites, BPRW’s wildly successful food truck gathering which is now happening weekly on Wednesday evenings beginning June 19th.
Scheduled for installation in the later summer/fall, contractors will insert the Leddy Pause Place where the Greenway meets the Arena entrance. The site will feature a signature oval of exposed aggregate concrete with a sustainable wood-decked seating area. This important intersection of BPRW facilities will be instantly recognizable.
The fourth  University of Vermont Medical Center Fitness Trail station will also be installed at this location in late spring/early summer 2019. Based on feedback received from a public survey, BPRW will be debuting some new styles of exercise equipment. They will be set into the distinctive surface of exposed aggregate concrete, sculpted to curve around existing trees that will provide partial shade to this newest workout spot. Bike racks, garbage and recycling containers, and new Park’s standard lighting will all work together to create a welcoming, accessible and safe entrance to the arena from the Greenway and the Leddy parking lot. BPRW will put the finishing touches on this upgrade by installing the landscaping with our Trees & Greenways crews, another example of how we are working hard to deliver maximum value on Parks projects.

Let’s Go to the Beach… Leddy Beach, that is!

The work at Leddy doesn’t stop at the front door. The project Team is also reviewing design details to improve beach access.

University of Vermont Medical Center Fitness Station – Starr Farm

BPRW’s solid partnership with the University of Vermont Medical Center Fitness Center yields a fifth fitness station at Starr Farm. Located on a circular exposed aggregate concrete pad to be located adjacent to the Starr Farm Playground. Thanks to a generous donation from UVM Med Center, and input from their physical and occupational therapists, Burlington’s outdoor workout opportunities have blossomed in recent years. Designed to be inclusive, accessible, social and engaging, the exercise equipment is sure to be the huge hit that the original Urban Reserve stations were when they opened in 2017.

Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation Phase 3 – To the South!

Following the much loved improvements in the north, construction turns to the South End this spring. BPRW has wrapped up design work on the first of two sub-phases that will complete the bulk of the rehabilitation of the Waterfront Bike Path that began in 2014. Phase 3a will begin in the under-utilized section between Queen City Park Road and Home Avenue. Most of this section receive an asphalt overlay and new shoulders. Where the path approaches Home Ave, the steep initial slope will be softened to bring it into ADA compliance, while creating a more open and inviting entrance to this hidden connection to the South Burlington multi use path system.
From there, the Greenway becomes an on-street path, following Home Avenue and Austin Drive to the southern entrance to Oakledge Park, where phase 3a takes a break until construction season 2020, when the Oakledge segment of the path gets rebuilt. Our partners at DPW will finish the paving in this section and then add street markings in keeping with the Neighborhood Greenway treatment.
Phase 3a picks up again in the Lakeside Neighborhood and involves formalizing the small residential street known as Proctor Place. There the Greenway will pick up again as an on street path, turning east on Harrison Avenue, receiving DPW’s urban Greenway pavement markings to guide the way.
The project makes another leapfrog, picking up at the southern end of the Barge Canal. BPRW is working with permitting agencies and other stakeholders to facilitate the full upgrade of the path through this wild and (sometimes treacherous in certain weather conditions, but most of the time beautiful) section of path. Regardless, this work won’t happen until low water conditions allow, in the later summer/early fall.
From there, northward, the path follows a new alignment, a bit further from the crashing waves of Lake Champlain, adjacent to Vermont Rail System’s facility. BPRW will take the opportunity to plant many new trees and flowering shrubs in the old alignment, which ensures that phase 3a results in a net gain for green and the increased tree roots will also help make this section of shoreline more resilient to wave erosion that has become more common.
Construction phasing will be determined with selected contractor. Stay tuned for more details.
 

TREES

BPRW’s City Arborist has been working on the  response plan to the inevitable arrival of the Emerald ash borer. As it applies to capital project that involve earth work, landscaping, etc., our policy will be to remove ash trees and replace them with a variety of disease resistant, long-lived canopy species to take their place.
This will apply to one key area during the construction of Phase 3a. Roundhouse Park Pause Place and the area immediately to the south will see the removal of existing green ash trees and an aggressive approach to replanting with a wide variety of canopy and understory species that include American sycamore, river birch, hybrid red/silver maples, red maples and serviceberry. In total, phase 3a will see the planting of 57 new trees. Although final removal tallies won’t be known until the end of the project (many decisions to take extra measures to save trees happens in real time during construction), we plan to exceed the number of trees removed.
Additionally, some less than vigorous Austrian pines will be removed in the realignment north of the barge canal, and several medium sized white pines and an elm will be removed to achieve the ADA compliant slope heading south from Home Ave. In the case of the pines, this will create a safer and more open and inviting entrance into this little used section of the path, in addition to minimizing the ice buildup on the path with the additional sunlight (remember, BPRW does not use salt on the Greenway).
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Northshore Pause Place Takes Shape During Snowvember

December 6, 2018 – The contractors worked through an unusually cold and snowy November to complete the basic structure of the Northshore Pause Place and Stair Access. They will return at the earliest opportunity in the spring to pour the exposed aggregate concrete paving that has become a signature on Greenway places to date (similar to  the concrete walkway to access the beach near the oval overlook south of North Beach). Work will continue on installing helical pilings and pre-fabrication of the new Parks standard staircase.

The finishing touches at this newest and northernmost overlook will include bike racks and Big Belly solar powered garbage and recycling containers. Additionally, there will be a commemorative bench, donated by our Greenway partner, Local Motion, on behalf of one of their members. We would like to thank the Burlington Parks Foundation for their continued support for Greenway rehabilitation. This time out, generous donors provided $100,000 towards construction of this substantial upgrade. Stay tuned for spring construction details and an opening celebration.

North Shore overlook construction

North Shore Pause Place Reconstruction Begins!

October 17, 2018 – The North Shore Pause Place installation kicks off later this week with demolition of the existing damaged stairs and the remainder of the wood and brick structure. The new designs will have the same functions of a wayside gathering and scenic viewing spot with stair access to the beach, but with noticeable improvements. The new pause place will be built to last featuring textured concrete overlook seat walls, a memorial bench supported by a Local Motion donation, separate bike parking and recycling/trash receptacles (BPRW’s highly successful Big Belly solar powered compacting smart waste and recycling containers), native and naturalized plantings.

The project will debut BPRW’s new standard staircase design, featuring galvanized/powder coated steel with replaceable wood treads and risers. This system can be custom ordered based on site needs and installed with a crane as a prefabricated unit. Additionally, the staircase will be supported by helical anchors. The helical anchors are BPRW favorite for their efficiency and minimal disturbance, special drill-in-place footings that utilize no excavation, no concrete, no extra material to remove, and no backfilling.

Weather permitting, the new pause place is expected to be completed by mid-December with the staircase installation later in the winter to minimize disturbance.

Burlington Greenway users, the path should remain open for most of the construction period. There may be some short term closures – stay tuned here for details. Please use caution as you approach this work zone, located between Starr Farm Road and North Ave Extension. This project is supported by charitable donations via the Burlington Parks Foundation in addition through the Penny for Parks dedicated tax program.

 

Public Presentation on October 3rd

Meet us in Lakeside Park to hear all about the plans for the final phase of Burlington Greenway (Bike Path) Rehabilitation project.

Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront planning division staff and design consultant will share concepts for design of the southern portion of the Burlington Greenway (Queen City Park Rd – Perkins Pier).

Phase 3 Design Kicks Off

The third and final phase of the Burlington Greenway has kicked off, with BPRW contracting with VHB, a South Burlington engineering firm that has provided design services for phases 1 and 2 previously. Phase 3 begins at the City’s southern border (Queen City Park Road), parallels the Champlain Parkway alignment, connecting to Oakledge Park via Austin Drive, through the Lakeside neighborhood, behind the former Blodgett Oven factory, then passing through Roundhouse Park and Perkins Pier.

Design development will follow the 2013 Conceptual Design, developed for the entirety of the 8+ miles of waterfront bike path in the Burlington city limits. Extensive public engagement happened during that process, with input from various stakeholders, neighbors and bike path users shaping this conceptual alignment and design. BPRW will be making informational stops at the Ward 5 NPA later in the fall to update the public on the project.

BPRW is looking forward to completing this last portion of this immensely popular recreational and transportation facility. Additionally, in keeping with the approach on Phases 1 and 2, the project will include additional pause places (Oakledge and Roundhouse Parks) and UVM Medical Center Fitness Stations (Oakledge). Of course, during construction there will be detours and closures. Please monitor our communications for the latest updates. We thank you in advance for your continued patience.

 

Phase 2: Smooth Sailing and Pause Places

We hope you have enjoyed a season of unimpeded access to the newer portions of the world class Burlington Greenway. BPRW opened a completed phase 2, from North Beach Campground to the Winooski River, in time for the Vermont City Marathon at the end of May, 2018. We were thrilled with the enthusiasm both the event organizers and spectators embraced new facilities and access points. The new parking area at North Avenue extension functioned beautifully as a watering and bathroom station, and the new access point at Killarney Drive was a veritable park with large crowds gathering to watch this central location. Since the Marathon then the grass has fully grown in!

New accessible connection between Killarney Drive and the Burlington Greenway functioned beautifully as an access point and spectating spot during the Vermont City Marathon in May 2018
The newly formalized parking area at the intersection of North Avenue and the Burlington Greenway makes a nice location for an Aid Station during the Vermont City Marathon.

Completed on time, with minimal complications from working with urban soils, the 3.3 mile, $2.6 million dollar Phase 2 Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation marks the successful completion of the largest BPRW managed project to date. While the path proper has been open for months, Pause places are designed and ready for fall construction at Leddy Park (near the Arena) and Northshore, and a third slated for construction next season at Starr Farm Park. Leddy Park will not only see a new oval pause place with decked overlook at the intersection of the bike path and the entrance to the Arena, but will also include accessibility upgrades between the bike path, Arena front entrance and Leddy Beach, improved stormwater management and the replacement of wood stairs between the Picnic Grove and the beach.

The University of Vermont Medical Center Fitness Trail will add to the growing network of Exercise stations with their fourth location created between the Greenway and the entrance to the arena. BPRW Director and Planning Staff presented these plans and projected construction schedule at the Wards 4/7 Neighborhood Planning Assembly on August 22, 2018.

Northshore will see a replacement of an overlook that was built in the 1990’s that will include an exposed aggregate plaza, bike parking, a bench plus seating wall, native plantings and the replacement of steps to the beach that were destroyed by fire last year. BPRW is working closely with the State of Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife on the preservation of the fragile ecosystem. While given the all clear for replacing the pause place and staircase at the northern North Shore location, State botanists will play a planning role in any future construction in the stretch between Starr Farm Park and North Avenue.

Designs for the new overlook and stairs at North Shore

BPRW is in the midst of gathering public input and studying existing park use at Starr Farm in preparation for hiring a design consultant for the creation of the final New North End pause place, complete with a University of Vermont Medical Center Fitness Station. Please weigh in by taking the Starr Farm survey! We’ll let you know when it’s available via this home page, Front Porch Forum and our facebook page.

Our Trees & Greenways team, in collaboration with our Parks Planning Division, are preparing for the first phase of an ambitious tree planting in the Phase 2 corridor. Using research proven planting methods and timing, BPRW will plant 120 trees in October. More recently, BPRW staff members paid a fireside visit to the Crow’s Path Outdoor School at Rock Point to talk trees and deliver and plant special gifts: bare root bur oaks and bitternut hickories that were then sighted, planted and mulched with the children. Over the summer, the students have been watering these plantings and monitoring their success.

City Arborist V.J. Comai plants trees with faculty and students at Rock Point’s Crow’s Path Outdoor School.

Finally, the last piece of the northern Burlington Greenway remaining is the replacement of the North Beach overpass, connecting North Beach Campground and North Beach. Construction drawings for that structure are currently being wrapped up, with construction scheduled for winter and spring of 2018-19. This project will greatly enhance safety, accessibility, ecology and aesthetics at the important intersection, and BPRW and their designers are working closely with the State of Vermont Agency of Transportation, which owns this section of the Greenway right-of-way.

 

 

4 thoughts on “Burlington Greenway Updates

  1. I received an “out of office” response to DM Wood to my following question:
    “Dear DM Wood,

    I’ll be out of town on the 3rd, and would like to know if the “Amtrak Realignment” will include removing the two railroad tracks crossings from the path? I’ve been a supporter of working with Mr. Pecor to provide easement (or sale) of that portion of his Ferry property that would allow the Greenway to avoid those two dangerous (to bike wheels, etc) crossings and the horrible bottleneck at the Wing Building.”

  2. The focus of Wednesday’s meeting will be on the Greenway/Bike Path Rehabilitation in the South End. The King to College section is a separate project. Our team is looking into the feasibility of realigning the bike path to the western side of the tracks as well as a few different width alternatives for realignment. We have heard from other Burlingtonians like yourself who also support a realignment. We’ll share updates on the Greenway website as they are available.

  3. Hi Damon, lighting along the path is not part of our standard design, unless the path travel through a park or traffic intersection.

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