Transformed section from Perkins Pier to Roundhouse Park includes new pause place; City on track to complete over 1.4 miles of Bike Path in 2020
Burlington, VT – Today, Mayor Miro Weinberger announced the opening of a new section of the Bike Path rehabilitation in the South End. This completed segment, which is between Perkins Pier and Roundhouse Park, comes as the City is on track to complete the rehabilitation of an additional 1.4 miles of the remaining 2.4 miles of the southern section of the path by the end of the calendar year, and follows years of work to steward and upgrade the path between Perkins Pier north to the Winooski River Bridge.
“Today we’re celebrating exciting momentum in our work to complete the rehabilitation of the entire 8 miles of the Burlington Bike Path,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “Roundhouse Park and a new stretch of Bike Path in the South End are now open and dramatically improved with benches, perennial plantings, and a path that will be much more resilient to exposure from Lake Champlain. At the same time, we are on track to complete the transformational rebuilding of the path through the Barge Canal, and bring an end to the detour onto Pine Street, this fall. I am grateful for our Parks team’s continued hard work to make this defining and treasured part of Burlington even better.”
This completed segment hugs the shoreline and features some of the Bike Path’s most striking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks – which also means that it has historically been one of the first portions of the path to flood during high water. The rehabilitated segment now features:
· A steel-reinforced concrete slab that will function both as the path itself and as a miniature sea wall to protect from wind and waves;
· Paving that will be better able to withstand water conditions and reduce the need for frequent and costly maintenance; and
· An increase in elevation by an average of one foot above the previous level, adding to the greater resilience of this section to high water.
This segment also marks the opening of a new “pause place” at Roundhouse Park, featuring five new benches, a diverse array of trees and plants selected for their ability to thrive in the variable weather close to the Lake, colorful pollinator- and bird-friendly perennials, lighting, bike racks, and other features to make it possible for Burlingtonians to stop and enjoy this beautiful section of the Bike Path. This is the first pause place in the South End, and brings into the southern portion of the path a feature that has been widely embraced in the northern sections. This pause place is made possible thanks to a generous donation through the Parks Foundation in memory of Janet Bossange. Janet was a lifelong educator, artist, and dedicated volunteer throughout Burlington’s arts community.
"Like the other Bike Path pause places funded by the Parks Foundation, this wonderful point will now add another place for path users to pause and enjoy the magnificent view of our lake and the Adirondack Mountains, just as my late wife Janet would have wanted it," said John Bossange, chair and founding member of the Parks Foundation of Burlington and longtime supporter of the Burlington Bike Path.
As work continues on the Bike Path to the south, currently, the only way to access this completed segment of the Bike Path is from the north via Perkins Pier.
Up Next for Bike Path Rehabilitation in the South End
This segment is part of Phase 3a of the rehabilitation of the Burlington Bike Path, and work on the remainder of this phase is ongoing. It includes both off-road and on-road improvements from Queen City Park Road to Home Avenue, Proctor Place to Harrison Avenue, and throughout the Barge Canal to Perkins Pier.
Phase 3a also includes the section of the Bike Path that crosses the Barge Canal, which is one of the most technically challenging sections of the entire 8-mile path. The work on this section includes constructing a “revetment” wall in the Lake itself to mitigate wave action on the path, which requires low water levels to construct. On October 31, 2019, the “Halloween Storm” dumped 3.3 inches of rain in Burlington, increased the level of Lake Champlain by two feet, and brought work on this section of the path to an abrupt halt.
Fortunately, the low levels of precipitation this winter and spring have made for strong progress in this section. The construction team is on track to finish the section of the Bike Path through the Barge Canal this fall. When complete, this section will be greatly improved from its previous condition, including through a sloped revetment that will protect the path from the Lake and stop the rapid deterioration that previously plagued this section, and an expanded width from 8 feet to the full 15 feet of other sections of the path.
By the end of this calendar year, the team also will begin and complete work between Harrison Avenue and the Barge Canal, reconnecting this critical section of the Bike Path from the Lakeside neighborhood to the central waterfront. Work also is expected to begin this fall between Blanchard Beach and Proctor Place.
Throughout Phase 3a, the City is implementing the same standards as it has in the northern section of the path, with safer alignment, extra width, accessible grade, smoother and more consistent paving, a shoulder for running and walking on both sides of the pavement, and pause places that create space for people to stop and enjoy. Phase 3a is funded through the Capital Budget, Penny for Parks, and philanthropic contributions from the Parks Foundation of Burlington.
“The Greenway is more than just a bike path,” said Cindi Wight, Director of Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront. “It provides an accessible route along the length of our city. It is safe for families, for our seniors and provides a much-needed, off-road, year-round transportation corridor. It connects seven parks in the city along the route, and is of itself a linear park.”
Bike Path users can find the latest information about closures and construction progress on the Parks, Recreation & Waterfront website at this link: https://enjoyburlington.com/greenway-phase-3/
Background: Bike Path Rehabilitation Is Result of Years of Planning, Effort, and Generosity
The rehabilitation of the entire Burlington Bike Path is a multi-year project estimated to cost a total of $16.5 million. Phase 1a encompassed the segment from Perkins Pier to Penny Lane, and was completed in summer of 2015. Phase 1b picked up from Penny Lane, realigned the path through the Urban Reserve and added a new pause place, lookout, and three new UVM Medical Center Fitness Stations. Phase 2 covered just over 3 miles of full reconstruction from north of the North Beach overpass to the intersection of North Avenue Extension, and additional paving from North Avenue Extension to the Winooski River Bridge. Each phase has enhanced safety, ecological function, and connectivity, transforming the Bike Path into a linear system of parks.
The effort to rehabilitate the Burlington Bike Path began in 2010 with the convening of the Bike Path Task Force, which recommended a $12-16 million enhancement to bring the Bike Path up to modern standards. Following significant flood damage in April 2011, in November 2012, Burlington voters approved two significant ballot items to fund the improvement and maintenance of the Bike Path, and also supported ongoing investment in infrastructure through the Sustainable Infrastructure Plan in 2016. Reinvestment in the Bike Path has also been made possible by the Parks Foundation of Burlington, which has raised over $1 million to supplement public investment in the Bike Path.
For more information about Phase 3a, please see:
For more information about the work to rehabilitate the Bike Path, please see:
- “Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Groundbreaking on Next Phase of Bike Path Rehabilitation,” June 2019
- “Mayor Weinberger Reopens the Entire Northern Bike Path,” December 2017
- “Next Phase of Bike Path Rehabilitation Breaks Ground,” June 2016
- “Governor Shumlin, Speaker Smith, Mayor Weinberger, Bike Path Stakeholders Break Ground on Enhanced, Expanded Bike Path Construction,” October 2014
- “Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Next Steps for Bike Path Enhancements and Expansion,” May 2013
- “Mayor Miro Weinberger Announces Bike Path Repair Progress and Schedule,” May 2012