Cyclists, runners, walkers and strollers accustomed to mid-summer passage along the Greenway between downtown Burlington and Blanchard Beach will find their way blocked until construction winds up in the fall, park officials say.
Upgrades here signal the final stretch of a years-long rehabilitation project along the entire 8-mile multi-use path: a wider paved surface; better protection from wave damage; and ADA-compliant access to beaches and other amenities, Parks Project Coordinator Jon Adams-Kollitz said on Tuesday.
On a similar schedule, work will wind up to re-align the bike path (also known as the “Island Line Trail”) to the western side of rail tracks between Maple and College streets — a shift necessary for upgrades tied to the arrival of Amtrak, and one that will allow cyclists and walkers to avoid two rail crossings.
So far, crews are operating “on or ahead of schedule,” Adams-Kollitz said.
Several hundred feet of the path near Maple Street have a fresh coat of asphalt.
At Oakledge, the trail is being treated to a subbase of drainage rock, and is being raised in places vulnerable to flooding.
A semi-circular pit, ringed with heavy equipment, sits where until earlier this month, massive concrete seawall blocks marked the beach’s entrance at Flynn Avenue. In their place, a landscaped way-station (the “Oakledge Oval”) will offer visitors plenty of space to navigate this busy park entrance; to load and unload kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, picnic supplies and so forth.
Meanwhile, trail travelers can still enjoy the park’s northern lawn and contemplate the Earth Clock monoliths.
By car, bike or foot, visitors can reach the southern parts of Oakledge via Flynn Avenue. Folks looking for a beach scene are encouraged to do so at the Cove, just downhill from the southern pavilion.
Visitors hoping to reach Oakledge via Austin Drive and points further south will be frustrated by fencing until improvements to that section of the bike path finish up.
Informative and entertaining updates can be found at the Parks, Recreation and Waterfront website: enjoyburlington.com/category/planning-projects.
“The Greenway is more than just a bike path,” Cindi Wight, director of the department wrote on the project site. “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.”
Contact reporter Joel Banner Baird at email@example.com.