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Biking on the Southwest Commuter Path

Two bike trails in eastern Dane County that have been waiting to be joined for the past decade will be closer to that goal — but not yet connected — thanks in part to a county grant.

The CamRock/Glacial Drumlin connector project will eventually connect the north end of the CamRock Trail in Cambridge to the Glacial Drumlin State Trail a couple of miles east of Deerfield.

This week, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi signed the PARC and Ride Bike Trail Grant, which includes $209,250 to the village of Cambridge, to build 3,600 feet of trail north to State Farm Road, about halfway to the Glacial Drumlin State Trail. It’s not known when work on the second part of the proposed connector will be completed.

Plans for the first part include a safe crossing of Highway 134, a separate trail along Highway 12 and 18 and bike lanes along local roads. Kiosks, benches and bike racks are also being planned for the route.

“It’s exciting to have communities come forward with plans to strengthen Dane County’s network of bike trails,” Parisi said in announcing the grants.

“These projects enhance our quality of life in Dane County, and heighten the overall experience visitors and residents can have while enjoying the outdoors,” he said.

The connector was initially planned in 2008 as a partnership between Cambridge, Dane County Parks, Jefferson County Parks Department, Cambridge Community Foundation and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

A part of the connector was created in 2014 from CamRock Park to its terminus north of Highway 18 near the Highway 134 intersection.

Three other trails were awarded PARC and Ride grants:

  • Cottage Grove received $182,500 for the Main Street Community Trail, connecting the Glacial Drumlin Trail and McCarthy County Park.
  • Windsor received $81,600 for a 1,000-foot paved trail and bridge project providing a connection for the proposed trail from Token Creek County Park to the Upper Yahara River Trail.
  • Shorewood Hills received $26,650 for the Blackhawk Path extension, a 1,400-foot extension of the University Avenue Path to link Shorewood Hills and University Bay Drive.

The PARC and Ride Bike Trail Grant program provides a community with up to 50 percent of the cost of a project in a matching grant.

The grant money was included in the 2018 county budget to be awarded in 2019.

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Bill Novak is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.