Village works to connect path

June 19, 2012

Menomonee Falls - The village of Menomonee Falls is working to make a connection - a trail connection that is.

The Village Board heard an update Monday on the multiuse pedestrian and biking trail that would connect Rotary Park with 124th Street along Fond du Lac Avenue. Research is nearing completion that details the existing conditions of the roadway, as well as a design depicting three different options for the trail.

Thomas Hoffman, director of engineering who led the presentation, said a petition against the project was signed by 29 people from 17 different single-family properties along the trail's pathway.

"The petition has been duly noted, and we need to go through the whole process and make sure we are addressing all the issues of residents," Village Manager Mark Fitzgerald said.

Construction would not begin until 2013. By mid-July the survey work that was started more than a month ago will be complete. A project draft is also projected for completion this summer that will detail three different options for the path. One option is an on-street asphalt path such as the one that is currently on Lilly Road. An on-street path would be a 10-foot path next to the roadway, then a ditch followed by residential driveways.

An off-street asphalt path would minimize tree removal and allow the village to leave the bulk of the existing infrastructure. Hoffman said this option works better with the current topography, however, due to drainage issues in some smaller areas, an on-street path would work better. Therefore, a third design that combines both on-street and off-street pathways will be detailed in the project's draft.

Village trustees were more in favor of an off-street path, saying as it would be safer for pedestrians. All three options will be brought forward in September. A public information meeting will also be scheduled so residents along Fond du Lac Avenue can provide their input on the different path designs.

The multiuse trail project came up for discussion in 2000 when the village and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation created a project agreement to reconstruct and widen Fond du Lac Avenue from Lilly Road to 124th Street. Before tackling the project, the Transportation Committee requested a residential survey, which found the majority of residents opposed to the widening of the roadway. However, many residents were not opposed to a pedestrian pathway.

In August 2000, the roadway was resurfaced. In November 2004, several property owners returned to the village and asked for the installation of an asphalt path, which brought the path project back to the drawing board.

In July 2009, the project was moved into Tax Incremental Financing District 5 and in the beginning of 2012 it was placed into the capital improvement budget.

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