Category Archives: Winona-Milwaukee

New Hank Aaron State Trail connection

A new ramp has been opened connecting the 6th street bridge to the former train yard (called the Reed Street Yards) which is being redeveloped as an industrial park, specializing in companies focused on water. Here are pictures of the new ramp.

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New ramp

Thus the east-bound trail rider would go south on the 6th street bridge at the eastern end of Canal Street. Then the rider would take the ramp down to the trail through the Reed Street Yards and continue east on the trail and along Freshwater Way and Pittsburgh Street.

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6th Street bridge with new ramp in background (taken from Canal Street)

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Ramp from 6th Street bridge

Upgraded section of Oak Leaf Trail

The section of the Oak Leaf Trail south from Bluemound to 120th Street has been rebuilt as a trail, replacing the very potholed road.

Hank Aaron State Trail Closure

Because of the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange, the section of the Hank Aaron State Trail west of 94th Place has been closed and is not projected to reopen until 2018. There is a well-marked detour south of the trail. For more information go to this site.

Three Bridges Park Grand Opening–July 20

The grand opening of the three bridges park is scheduled for the morning of July 20. There will be a variety of activities, as described in this press release.

Three Bridges is a linear part connection the Hank Aaron Trail (and the Urban Ecology Center) to the Mitchell Park Domes.

Three Bridges Park

This is the name of a new  linear park that will run between Hank Aaron trail at the Urban Ecology Center to the Mitchell Park domes, using former rail yards along the Menomonee River. It is scheduled to open in July.

Attached are pictures of the construction activity.

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Whatever Happened to the Wisconsin Bikeway

Around 1970, Wisconsin was the first state to map out a bike route crossing the state: the Wisconsin Bikeway that ran from LaCrosse to Kenosha, and later to Racine and Milwaukee. But then it dropped it. This inspired me to start the Wisconsin Bicycle Routes site, for fear that the good long-distance routes would gradually become a distant memory.

On this site, I posted the cue sheets of the bikeways. After completing research for the update of the Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin Map, I decided it would be interesting to take a look at how much of the original route would stay the same. While the route in most of the state is still a good one, in southeastern Wisconsin, there are better roads in some places: less busy and more direct. I suggest alternative routes on the site.

Glacial Drumlin Trail Connection to Madison

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently reported on a donation by GE Healthcare of a half mile corridor that will provide the “final link” in connecting the current Glacial Drumlin State Trail’s western terminus in Cottage Grove to Madison. The article is not clear about the route to be taken or the location of the half mile corridor, although the route would generally follow the Union Pacific rail line.  An article in the Wisconsin State Journal last year gave more information on planning for the connector.

Trails in the Delafield area

I just rode the newly paved middle section of the Lake Country trail. The trail is now paved throughout its length (except for a short detour near county P). While the trail is mostly a rail-to-trail conversion with mild grades, the newly paved portion follows a power directly over a moraine next to the Nagawaukee golf course. So it is quite steep (I am told the state denied a grant application because the grade did not meet standards), but still much nicer paved.

In the same area, the trail along Cushing Park Rd between the Lake Country trail and the Glacial Drumlin trail is mostly open (one bridge was still unfinished when I looked but is easy to get around by taking the road). A side trail leads across the park to connect with the road up Lapham Peak.

2011 Bike Trail Construction Plans

Several plans have been announced for construction in 2011:

  • Hank Aaron Trail extension. Presently the Hank Aaron State Trail ends at 94th Place in West Allis. Bikes can continue west on the old right of way but the pathway is quite rough, more suitable for mountain bikes than road bikes. Plans have been announced to put  in a temporary crushed stone surface connecting the HAST to the Oak Leaf Trail. Following the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange, plans are to construct a paved surface.
  • Lake Country Trail paving. Last year both the western and eastern ends of the Lake Country Trail were paved, leaving the middle section, mainly through Nagawaukee County Park, unpaved. On its website the Waukesha county parks department has announced that paving the middle section will start this spring. This announcement should be treated with a bit of skepticism since the paving of the middle section was originally announced for last year.
  • Oak Leaf to Ozaukee Interurban Trail connector. For some time plans have developed, and grants have been announced, to build a trail connecting the Ozaukee Interurban Trail (in the person of the Brown Deer Trail at Brown Deer Road) to the Oak Leaf Trail at Hampton Avenue on the north edge of Estabrook Park. The connector would use both WE Energies right of way dating from the old Interurban tracks and unused railroad tracks. Phase I of this project from Brown Deer Road to Bradley Road, connecting the Brown Deer Trail to the Oak Leaf Trail at Brown Deer Park, scheduled to take place this summer. While short, this section would eliminate a very tricky left turn between Green Bay Road and the old village of Brown Deer, a turn that is dangerous in both directions.
  • Downtown to Bay View connector. This path would utilize long-abandoned railroad tracks east of First Street between National Avenue and Kinnickinnic Ave, replacing part on the on-street route between downtown Milwaukee and Bay View. This project was first presented some years ago, unfortunately as an alternative to allowing bicycles on the Hoan Bridge.

I would be very disappointed if these are the only bike-oriented projects around Wisconsin. Please let me know about those I have missed.

Cross-posted at Bikeverywhere.

Hank Aaron State Trail Opening

The official opening of the Hank Aaron State Trail western extension is scheduled to take place November 8 at 11 am. The location is 3700 W Pierce St (the southern end of the new Valley Passage). The new section of trail follows former railroad tracks between 37th St and 94th Place. The route can be clearly seen on the Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin map because it is marked as a railroad line.

There are a limited number of access points to the new trail. On the whole section, there are only two grade crossings. Here are the access points (going from east to west):

  • A connecting trail that starts at Pierce St and 37th, goes north down a switchback, goes under the existing railroad track, crossing the Menominee River, and connects to the existing trail at Canal St.
  • General Mitchell Blvd in the Wood VA Center, one of the two grade crossings.
  • 56th St, a connector from the south.
  • The west side of Hawley Rd.
  • 68th St, a connector from the north.
  • 76th St, the other grade crossing.
  • 89th St, an informal connector from the south.
  • 94th Place, the present western end of the trail. The continuation of the trail to the west awaits the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange.

The trail crosses several bike routes shown on the map without connecting with them, instead crossing over or under them:

  • The bike trail on the east side of Miller Parkway that connects National Avenue to Canal St (trail crosses over).
  • 70th St (crosses under).
  • 84th St (crosses over). At this time there is no direct connection to the Wisconsin State Fair.
  • 92nd St (crosses over).

Perhaps it is also worth noting the three streets, all with marked bike lanes, that pass over the Menominee Valley on viaducts, thus crossing but not intersecting the older section of trail:

  • 16th St
  • 27th St
  • 35th St
(This post has been cross-posted at bikeverywhere)