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Burlington Greenway Updates

Summer Detour

This section of the Path will remain closed to traffic through the summer. Tentatively we expect to open some short sections later this year, but travel down the Path over the Barge Canal portion will not be possible in 2020.

  • Roundhouse to Perkins Pier: estimated re-opening August 2020
  • Barge Canal to Roundhouse: estimated re-opening November 2020

Bike Path Detour Map 2020

May Update

Good news! Work commenced in early May and crews got right to work. As of May 15th Perkins Pier is reopened!

Repair and repaving work that began at that location last December is complete.

Highlights include:

  • Substantial reduction in impervious surfaces
  • Improvements to accessibility and safety
  • Better access to the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum Lois McClure (when she’s docked there)

Please stay off newly seeded areas behind orange snow fence.

Repairs are nice, but they are technically a short-term fix until the site can get go through a thorough master planning process.

As work continues to the south, the contractor focused on the path adjacent to wastewater treatment plant and is now working on the mini park at Roundhouse Point.

2020 Spring Update (March)

Construction Work Is On Hold

Based on the Governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ executive order, all Burlington Parks, Recreation and Waterfront (BPRW) construction work is on hold until at least 5/15. This includes major projects such as City Hall Park and the Burlington Greenway. This means the existing Greenway detour in the South End, between Harrison Ave. and College St. via Pine St., Maple, Battery and Main St., remains in effect until further notice.

 

Design & Planning Work Continues

While it is unfortunate to not be kicking off construction season in the dry and relatively warm spring, BPRW is taking advantage of this abnormally slow start to advance several design projects, including the last major phase of the Greenway Rehabilitation. Phase 3b consists primarily of the portion of the path that passes through Oakledge Park as well as sections between Harrison Avenue and the Barge Canal and the short sections that connect the bridge over Englesby Brook to Proctor Place.
Greenway enthusiasts might be interested to know that there are a few areas where the bike path will go off the existing alignment to achieve any or all of the following: avoid impact to significant trees or plant communities, improve accessibility, avoid wet soils, springs and other fragile and/or ecological environments and aligning the path to just to the west of (upper) parking lot.
The entirety of the Oakledge section will be built to our new standard creating an 11’ asphalt path sandwiched by twin 2’ fine gravel shoulders (except in high traffic and/or erosion prone areas). Additionally, we will be formalizing several trailheads, adding a gateway entrance at Austin Drive (thank you Burlington Parks Foundation), installing another stop on the University of Vermont Medical Center Fitness Trail, formalized a concession area, improving circulation and paving at the Flynn Ave Oval, and more ecologically sensitive treatment of the Engelsby Brook crossing. If budgets allow, we will also be able to provide better access to Blanchard Beach for both beach users and our maintenance crews and equipment.
Keen eyes may have spotted several trees marked with a white spray painted dot on the north side of their trunks. These trees have been classified as potential ‘bat trees.’  That is, they could be hosts to actively nesting large brown bats and other bat species impacted by the prevalent White Nose Syndrome disease that is decimating some bat populations of New England. If they need to be removed to construct the project, that work needs to be done by April 15 to avoid any negative impact to the bats.  However, do not be alarmed! BPRW Planning staff toured the site with their consultant on 3/25 and concluded that they only need to remove a handful of potential bat trees. That same team spent the afternoon reviewing alignment, drainage and vegetation impacts and many other issues that can be refined easily during the design phase.

Future Plans

With construction work suspended and City finances impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the schedule for completing the reconstruction is unknown at this time. Previous to the pandemic, BPRW’s aim was to bid the Flynn Avenue north to the bridge to Proctor Avenue section in early to mid spring 2020, while the southern portion of Oakledge, from the Flynn Avenue Oval to the southern entrance of the park at Austin Drive was scheduled to be bid out next season. However, our team remains hopeful that much will be accomplished once construction can proceed once again. In the meantime, we continue to work with our consultants and partners on refining the details that will enhance access to our Greenway.

2019 Recap

This fall, Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (BPRW) began work on one of our most technically challenging sections yet of the entire 8-mile Greenway: the 1,000 feet of path where the Greenway crosses the Barge Canal in the South End. This area has long been a pinch point, and the plan for rehabilitation will make this section substantially better, bringing it to the full width of the rest of the Greenway and constructing a “revetment” wall to mitigate wave action and reduce winter icing. The work on this section requires us to be in the Lake itself, and that requires the type of low water levels that Burlington typically experiences in the fall and winter.

This year, though, we had the “Halloween Storm.” On October 31, 2019, this storm dumped an astonishing 3.3 inches of rain down on Burlington in a matter of hours. As a result, the level of Lake Champlain rose by multiple feet.  The day after the storm, we had to bring construction along this section of the Greenway to an abrupt halt, and the water levels have remained persistently, unseasonably high since then. Unfortunately, we will not be able to complete the work in this section until water levels drop again, which is expected to be late summer or early fall of 2020. This means that the section of the Greenway from Lakeside Avenue to Maple Street will have to remain closed for the remainder of 2020. While we are disappointed to not be able to re-open this section of the Greenway sooner, we are looking forward to the substantial improvement that will be here when this work is complete.

Much more information is included in the update below.

 

Halloween Storm Brings All Tricks, No Treats

The section of the Greenway that crosses the Barge Canal represents the most technically challenging section of the entire path. These 1,000 feet of Greenway are sandwiched between the railroad tracks, a failing concrete waste block wall, a railing that needs constant repair, a pressure-treated extension, and Lake Champlain. On the other side of the rail right-of-way is the Pine Street Canal EPA Superfund site. Regular users of this section of the Greenway know that it is often a pinch point and can be dangerously exposed to the Lake’s wind and waves, especially in the winter, when its current design promotes substantial icing along the path. Additionally, this section is currently too narrow for BPRW to provide the standard level of maintenance that the rehabilitated portions of the Greenway receive.

The plan for rehabilitation will change all of this. The Phase 3a Greenway construction will expand the current Greenway width and design standards through the entire path, including this tricky section. And here’s the good news: We can already see evidence that the intense engineering effort required to improve this section is working. In the section that we were able to construct before the Halloween Storm hit – with a rebuilt slope and a wall of large, erratic boulders to absorb and dissipate wave energy – the path is now dry and largely ice-free. In the section of the path where we haven’t yet constructed the improvements, in contrast, there is significant wave action and ice buildup on the path.

We started construction in mid-October of 2019, following the completion of a complex permitting process with the U.S. Army Corps of engineers and the State of Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation to allow the Greenway to be widened into the Lake. At that time, though a series of storm events in early October had already pushed up lake levels, conditions along the Barge Canal were still ideal. In a typical year for water levels, we would have been able to re-open this section by spring of 2020. Our contractor staged thousands of tons of rock and other materials on site, and made highly efficient progress.

Then, on Halloween, the storm pushed the lake levels a total of two feet higher than they were when work was started on this section. The morning after the storm, it was all tricks and no treats, as our contractor scrambled with the excavator in the water to try to do as much as possible to stabilize the site. The water kept rising, and with the onset of colder temperatures, most of the work zone was eventually covered in a sheet of ice.

On November 6, the lake elevation topped out close to 98;’ feet – compared with 95 feet, the average level for Lake Champlain in a typical year in the fall. Our contractor had constructed a temporary “swamp mat” bridge made out of railway tie-sized timbers, and at that point, it began to float, and was the last item removed as the crew worked their way out of the exposed site.

As a result of all of this, the Halloween Storm brought construction season at the Barge Canal to an end – months earlier than is typical, than our work schedule had anticipated. Based on permitting, water levels in Lake Champlain need to return to 95 -96 feet before construction can resume. Unfortunately, this is not likely to occur until after spring snow melts and rains subside within the Lake Champlain Basin. Reduced water levels are thus unlikely to occur before fall of 2020 – meaning that the Greenway through this section will be closed to all users until at least the end of 2020.

We are disappointed that this atypical weather event has altered the schedule of this part of the Greenway rehabilitation. At the same time, we remain excited about how this project will improve the year-round safety and accessibility of this section of the bike path, and by extension, of the entire Greenway.

We appreciate your understanding and patience. We hope bikers and path users will see 2020 as the year to embrace the detour along Pine Street, and all of the vibrant culture that the street offers. As soon as conditions allow, BPRW and our project team will mobilize to take advantage of any workable window that nature offers.

 

Emphasizing Resiliency beyond the Barge Canal

The stretch from the Barge Canal to Perkins Pier is historically heavily impacted by wave action. The Burlington Harbor Breakwater protects much of the central waterfront, but strong winds from the southwest are able to bypass the breakwater and hammer the shoreline in these locations. Although some of the shoreline was repaired with funding from FEMA in 2012, many portions of the shoreline needed to be reinforced and better protected from erosive degradation. Our contractor prepared for the more intensive and risky work in the Barge Canal area by implementing reinforced shoreline repair in much of this area while awaiting final permitting go-ahead on the barge canal.

Further to the north lies the lowest (and most flood-prone) portion of the Greenway between the Wastewater Plant and Perkins Pier. This section will be raised in elevation and receive a custom designed reinforced concrete shoulder that will function as a mini seawall. While these engineering approaches will not make this stretch completely flood and wave proof, they should significantly reduce the bike path maintenance costs in this area, which has historically been a hotspot for maintenance and repairs, and the number of days per year this section is closed or requires detours. This section will be one of the last portions of the bike path rehabilitation phase 3A to be completed, as our contractors work their way out of the project from south to north.

The northern portions of Phase 3a (Roundhouse, Wastewater, Perkins Pier) are areas in addition to the barge canal most prone to erratic and severe rain and wind, events that are becoming more common with climate change. This area was also planted with an almost monoculture of ash trees, making it especially vulnerable to the imminent arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). As has become standard on BPRW construction projects, we are including ash removal within the project limits, which will lower our costs and workload when the disease spreads across the city, and may help to slow its spread. Our standard is to replace the removed trees with a diverse array of native and cultivated native trees, a more resilient approach to planting. In scenarios of pest infestation and erratic climate trends, a diverse stand of trees, with other smaller plantings, is less likely to be decimated by insects, disease, drought, heat, wind, or cold temperatures.

This approach will be evident when Roundhouse Park reopens, where we will plant four species of canopy trees that emphasize fall color and winter interest, including native species that are adapted to the harsh conditions of Lake Champlain’s waterfront. Additionally, there will be more site amenities, including benches and bike racks, located in two different areas of the park. This mini-park or pause place is also one of several bike path amenities prioritized for funding support by the Burlington Parks Commission.

Other resiliency-driven design changes in the vicinity include closing a short section of old alignment just north of the Barge Canal (wooden) bridge and, instead, formalizing a longstanding goat path that provides a straighter, safer, and shorter pathway though this section. The new path will pass through a declining collection of Austrian pines and the old alignment will be turned into a heavily planted berm.

In the meantime, the Barge Canal section (as well as adjacent stretches of the path) have also been omitted from the BPRW winter maintenance procedure, referred to as ‘Ski to the East,’ that involves keeping the west half of the full width sections of the Greenway plowed for pedestrians and bicyclists while maintaining snow cover on the east half of the path for skiers and other snow enthusiasts. When completed, the full width path adjacent to the Barge Canal will receive the new, best of both world winter maintenance. Even in the most benign weather conditions, the narrow path hemmed in by fencing on both sides was always a challenging section during the busiest months of path use as well as a section detoured during some of the Greenway’s signature events, like the Vermont City Marathon.

See you next spring!

December Update

The Burlington Greenway, from the Lakeside Neighborhood to King St., will remain closed for the winter. Please detour from Lakeside Avenue along Pine St. north to Maple St.
 
Stay tuned to BPRW communication outlets for information on  recreation conditions on the open portions of the Greenway. When and where conditions allow, BPRW provides unique trail maintenance for a wide variety of winter trail users. We push the snow in the west (southbound) lane while maintaining snowpack on the east (northbound) lane for Nordic skiing, snowshowing, etc. Remember  “ski to the east”!
The BPRW Project Team and their consultants are currently evaluating  site conditions, safety, contractor schedule and will be announcing plans for resuming construction in 2020.
Contractors were making great progress in the highly exposed section alongside the Barge Canal until the area was hit with a significant rain/wind storm that sent water levels up a total of 2.5 feet. Workers were scrambling the day after the substantial Halloween storm, buttoning up what they could access and preparing for winter. Please monitor our social media and website for further updates as we finalize our plan for construction and closures for next year. Please stay off the closed section of the Greenway and enjoy the open portions of the multi-use path.
2019 November Bike Path
Get a behind-the-scenes view of what was happening, until the water levels rose.

September Update

Segment 0 – The Best Section of Greenway You’ve (Possibly) Never Ridden
United at last! In the spirit of connections, BPRW, with assistance from Public Works Engineering, has brought the secretive Segment 0 (Home Ave to Queen City Park Rd) to match the rest of the northern sections. New street markings will guide the way to and from this section. With a more open and welcoming feel, this section serves as the southernmost portion of the path, leading into what many considered the beginning of the Greenway – Oakledge Park. The segment drops you out onto Queen City Park Road, the southern boundary between Burlington and South Burlington, and provides access to the continuing recreation paths across Rt 7.
Proctor Place – the short, but sweet section is completed
From ambiguous gravelly puddle-y path, to a beautiful, narrow well defined shared street. This section was upgraded quickly and maximizes efficiency of paved surfaces, to be contiguous with the already shared street that is Harrison Avenue. BPRW collaborated closely with their colleagues in the Engineering, Streets, and Water Resources Divisions of DPW during design and construction.
Watch the transformation in the video below.
Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation - Proctor Place
Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation – Proctor Place
Last of the Season’s Detours
Burlington Greenway Rehabilitation Phase 3a’s third and final detour variation of the season is underway and our contractor has relocated to the southern Waterfront section of the path. Staging primarily out of Perkins Pier, tree clearing has begun just north of the Barge Canal Bridge and progressing north toward Perkins Pier. All of the permitting for the legendary 1000′ of path along the the Barge Canal will be finalized in early October and our contractor has begun moving swamp mats, specialty excavators and materials into the area where they will work until winter shutdown.
Wind, Weather and Waves
With the water level beautifully low and the site conditions relatively stable, permits in place, and winter (we hope) a couple months off, the time has come to tackle the most-wicked of stretches of the Greenway. When the high waves are crashing over the railing, this area becomes a 1000′ carwash or linear waterpark. In the winter, those waves quickly turn to ice, making this a treacherous traverse past thousands of slanted icicles, showing how the power of the wind and cold defy gravity. Head to the south end of this stretch, and the wind begins to blow snow up, over and onto the path, often drifting deeper than 6′. In the summer, sand replaces the snow and drifts from the beach over the path, through the fence and onto the railroad tracks.
BPRW will do its best to complete this section before winter shut-down, but Mother Nature will have the last word and our team has been reviewing quick exit plans should the weather turn decidedly drifty. Regardless, it is likely that the final asphalt paving will be completed in the spring ahead of the Vermont City Marathon in late May. We hope our friends and avid Greenway supporters at Run Vermont are looking forward to the completion of one of the most dramatic overhauls of any 1000′ of the Waterfront Bike Path.
More Trees, Please
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 earthwork, 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. The 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.
These segments will see the most dramatic landscape plantings of any portions of phase 3a. Roundhouse Point (maybe the Bike Path’s first pause place) has been re-envisioned as a beautifully planted landscaped park, with many trees and plants offering shade, fall color, flowering and fruiting throughout the growing season, pollinator friendly plants, habitat and food producing native plants for wildlife, etc. Many of the improvements will be paid for with a generous donation from outgoing Parks Commission John Bossange. Thank you Commissioner Bossange.
Another area that will see dense plantings is the abandoned section of path alignment just north of the Barge Canal bridge, which will be planted with a diverse array of native and cultivated varieties of natives trees and shrubs. By pulling the path away from this particularly precarious shoreline, the path should largely avoid the wind, water and waves that are eating away at the shoreline in this exposed section of shoreline.

Mid-September Detour Changes

Work has begin on the next section. The path remains closed between the Barge Canal and Roundhouse Park (near the water treatment plant). So the detour route is from Lakeside to Maple st.

Mid-August update:
Revised update 8/27

Apologies for any confusion about the the path closure last week. In order to minimize interference, the crews held off closing the segment until work was fully ready to mobilize. That is happening now. The path will be closed at Procter Place starting today, August 27th at approximately 2pm. The detour route from Flynn to Maple should be used.

Detour Begins on Southern Section of Burlington Greenway on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Greenway users be aware that beginning on Thursday, August 22 the Greenway will be closed to all traffic from Flynn Ave to Maple St. to allow for contractors to work in the Lakeside neighborhood portion of the Greenway on Proctor Place and Harrison Ave. Users will be able to access the path in Oakledge park, but it will be closed at the bridge over the brook. This work is scheduled to be completed in three weeks. After that, crews will head further north to Perkins Pier and the Roundhouse section. Stay tuned for further updates. See map below for detour route.

 

Simultaneously, the elusive Segment 0 will open to the public. This section has received a major upgrade and, for the most part, has been brought up to our current standards and very intuitively to the on street portion of the Greenway on Austin Drive, which was recently improved by Public Works. HAPPY RIDING ON THE 0!

July 19 update: Construction moves to the Lakeside neighborhood July 29th.

BPRW’s contractor will be mobilizing to the Lakeside neighborhood portion of the Burlington Greenway at the end of the month. Work is expected to be completed by mid to late July, weather permitting. Improvements include the reconstruction of an 18’ paved residential street (Proctor Place from Oakledge to Harrison Ave) with partial curbing, new asphalt surfacing, full depth sub-base, improved drainage, pavement markings and signage. This will be a no parking street and will be an improved connection to the on-street portion of the Greenway. Harrison Ave will receive new pavement markings to improve safety and wayfinding.

The detour for this section starts at Oakledge Park’s main entrance, heads east on Flynn Ave., north on Pine St, and west on Maple St. back to the Greenway. Please obey all signs and traffic rules. At intersections, bicyclists may wish to walk their bikes as pedestrians using walk signals and crosswalks.

Segment 0—the practically secret section of the Greenway between the city’s southern border at Queen City Park Rd. and Home Ave—is almost completed and it will be spectacular! Improvements will include widening the paved bikeway, new pavement markings, 2’ aggregate shoulders for runners/walkers, and full compliance with the American’s with Disabilities Act (the initial slope from Home Ave. to the south has been made less steep, dropped from 9% to about 4%).

Upon completion of the Proctor and Harrison, contractors will move to the Barge Canal, Roundhouse Point and Perkins Pier sections of the project. Stay tuned for precise dates and detour information.

July 12 update: Works Begins!

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.

 

 

11 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.

  4. With regard to the 7/19 update on Segment Zero: You must have an interesting definition for the word “completed.” It certainly doesn’t mean “open,” as when I arrived at the Queen City Parkway entrance on my way home that evening from work by bike I was greeted by a large “CLOSED” sign and a chain link fence stretched across the entrance. At least, however, that side looked fully paved. I decided to inspect the Home Avenue entrance, which was not only closed and fenced off, but the entrance and connecting sidewalks were still bulky gravel, and a backhoe was straddling the sidewalk area. Now, my fat bike would not have much difficulty with it, but I doubt many bicyclists would like to ride across that. So I presume that this work still needs to be “completed,” or do you have another word for it in your vocabulary?

  5. Good point, Jim.I’ll edit that section to be more forward looking. Work still needs to be completed. -Diana

  6. Thanks, Diana. I’d like to also make a suggestion with regard to the detour routes being advised by BPRW for the upcoming work on Proctor Place/Harrison Avenue. From my understanding of the description of work to be done, while Proctor Place will receive the full sub-base “treatment” (it certainly needs it), the improvements to Harrison Avenue, should mostly consist of markings and wayfinding. If that is the case, it seems to me that the railroad crossing from Sears Lane should be able to be kept open, at least for most of the work, and be available as an alternate route for both bicyclists and pedestrians to enter/exit the Greenway. Even if this is not the case, the stairs next to Hula (old Blodgett property) off of Lakeside Avenue would also offer able-bodied pedestrians the opportunity to leave/rejoin the path. I offer these suggestions because many bicyclists are not comfortable riding on Pine Street, particularly northbound, where there are no substantial facilities between Locust and Maple streets (sharrows only). Between Howard and Maple the road is almost always narrowed by parking, and the same is true between Locust and Howard during the day, when Dealer/Cox’s workforce is present. Even I, who would generally be classified as a “Class A” bicyclist, that is “confident and assertive,” don’t particularly enjoy riding down this street during periods of high traffic volume. And I’m sure most pedestrians out for an enjoyable walk along the waterfront don’t wish to divert from it for over a mile. Cutting the diversion down to the distance between Sears and Flynn Avenues lessens the impact of the Proctor Place/Harrison Avenue work greatly. Thanks.

  7. Thanks for the suggestions about the detour routes. Our suggested detour routes are proposed using defined roadways, preferably with bike lanes and markings. I believe this is standard practice for official construction detours statewide. We figure that Greenway users familiar with the areas will discover their own preferred route.

  8. So it’s now August 13th, and Segment Zero is still closed. What’s up? The only thing that seemed to remain was the sidewalk/entrance treatment at Home Avenue. Also, Proctor Place/Harrison Avenue remain open. I assume that is because there is only one contracted crew working on these phases and they haven’t moved to this segment because they haven’t finished Segment Zero yet. Don’t get me wrong. I’m happy Proctor Place is still open and that more people can use the path more fully during the summer weather. However, many people use the path for transportation, errands, etc., and knowing what is open and what is not is important for planning purposes. This is especially true given the work that has been ongoing on lower Pine Street this summer. Thanks for your consideration.

  9. Now on top of all your other junk development, there is a huge parking lot right on the beach past the railway.
    Thanks to You Burlington Parks and Rec for Fouling up our Waterfront And City.

  10. Can you clarify the location you’re referring to? That might not be a parks project or even a City project.

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