City of Madison
An artists' rendering of the plans for the new bridge over the Yahara issued in 2003.
The Yahara River Parkway takes a great leap forward as its pedestrian-bicycle corridor comes online this month. Paddling upriver from Lake Monona last weekend afforded me a water-level perspective on its new East Washington underpass.
It's a beauty, with wide boxy tunnels affording good sightlines for pedestrians and cyclists using it to pass under East Wash from south to north or north to south. No longer must walkers and bikers negotiate an at-grade crossing of the city's high-volume east-side traffic spine to follow the river from Lake Mendota to Monona or vice versa.
First envisioned in the 19th century but failing to gain traction until the late 20th century, the corridor is scheduled for formal inauguration on Saturday, June 9. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for 11 a.m. at the south end of the tunnel along the Yahara River's west bank, featuring Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and representatives from Friends of the Yahara River Parkway and the Marquette and Tenney-Lapham neighborhood associations.
Led by Mayor Dave, a short bike ride will ensue along the corridor toward the south, finishing at the18th annual Marquette Waterfront Festival at Yahara Place Park on Lake Monona north shore.