Waterfront Park Regrading and Utility Upgrades

04/19/19 Update: Spring is here!

After a winter shut-down from January through March, work began at full-tilt this spring starting on April 3rd. With the goal of having the site wrapped up in-time for the Vermont City Marathon, we’ve had the irrigation, electrical, and landscape/site-work contractors all cranking away on the site at the same time. As usual, now that the site’s opened back up, please be mindful of trucks entering and exiting the site as you’re going through the area. There will be a lot of additional traffic through this area with the simultaneous construction going on next door in association with the Burlington Harbor Marina project.

Greenway Detour Update:

Though we briefly opened the Greenway for the weekend of the Unplugged half marathon, we will continue to keep the Greenway closed around the event lawn for now. A bumpy temporary patch in the asphalt to get to the electrical service and the traffic mentioned above make this section a little too risky for a permanent opening.


Electrical Panels Up and Backfilled
Irrigation installation starts

Switchgear installation starts


12/31 Update: Construction Continues

The regrading and site-work has been making steady progress along the waterfront through November and December. Despite some early snow in November, the weather has mostly remained cooperative, with temperatures warm enough to prevent the ground from freezing and minimal snow cover allowing the crews to keep working unimpeded.

Major Accomplishments:

  • Helical light pole bases with concrete collars installed
  • Conduit duct bank completely installed
  • Drainage pipe and catch basins installed along east side
  • Backfilling started

Detour Update:

The detour was put in place in early November while the new electrical conduit was placed under the Greenway. We intend to keep this section of the Greenway closed until the project shuts down for the winter in order to minimize risks created by construction vehicles coming and going from the site.

Construction will be ongoing until the weather prevents the contractor from continuing or until a new layer of drainage sand and gravel has been laid out and graded to allow for the quick installation of topsoil in the spring. We will keep you posted as the unexpectedly long construction season continues.


11/2 Update: Waterfront Park Detour update

Great News! The Burlington Greenway can remain open along Waterfront Park while the contractor works on other pieces of the project!

Eventually, we will have to set up the detour so that large trucks can bring materials into the site and necessary upgrades can be made to the electrical infrastructure. We will post an update here as soon as we have a confirmed schedule for this work. In the meantime, enjoy the Greenway!

10/23 Project start:

Starting next Thursday (October 25th) work will begin on regrading and updating the utilities throughout the northern lawn of Waterfront Park. During this time this entire area will be closed to the public and Burlington Greenway traffic will have to detour onto the concrete walkway closer to the lake.

We expect the project to be ongoing through the fall and into early-to-mid December depending on the weather. After that, the site will be stabilized for the winter with final finishes occurring in the spring and a completion date of no later than May 25, 2019, in time for the Vermont City Marathon on May 26th, 2019.

Please be mindful of construction vehicles traveling along Lake Street and into the park from the northeast corner. Additionally, once the contractor removes the existing light bollards, the area will be much darker than usual, so please use extra caution after sunset.


Project Highlights:

  • 1,400 cubic yards of a special soil blend high in organic matter and well drained sand graded to improve drainage and turf resilience, decreasing irrigation and mowing intervals
  • 15 New light poles and Dark Sky Friendly LED fixtures increase visibility and safety during evening hours, while reducing electricity consumption.
  • 1,950 linear feet of conduit and wiring to bring the park infrastructure up-to-date, improve the site’s capacity to supply power for events, and reduce the need for gas powered generators (noisy and high emissions for their size)
  • Reorganized, upgraded, and simplified irrigation infrastructure reduces maintenance and ensures long-term health of the northern Waterfront lawn and event grounds.
This photo-rendering shows the new lighting along northern Waterfront Park lawn.

Project Background

The Waterfront Park Regrading and Utilities Upgrade project was included in the 2013 Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Public Investment Action Plan (PIAP) proposal solicited by Mayor Miro Weinberger. Several pieces of that proposal, including Phase 1a of the Bike Path/Greenway rehabilitation and the Waterfront Park boardwalk rehabilitation, were completed in 2015. This project will begin the final portion of the original PIAP proposal by upgrading the electrical, lighting, and irrigation infrastructure and improving the soil conditions through the northern part of the park.

In consultation with the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (VT DEC), the methods for regrading the park will cap known urban soils commonly found along the waterfront. This cap will bring the event lawn up to the same standards used at the Urban Reserve and southern sections of Waterfront Park, ensuring the long-term stewardship of Burlington’s waterfront.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *