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Crews place final boardwalk link for part of state’s longest bike bridge

The construction of the Lower Yahara River Trail in Dane County — which includes Wisconsin’s longest pedestrian and bicycle bridge — reached a milestone Monday when crews placed the final link of boardwalk over the water connecting Lake Farm County Park with the village of McFarland’s McDaniel Park.

The 2.5-mile initial phase of the Lower Yahara project includes more than a mile of bridges and boardwalk. When completed in the summer, the $5.9 million project will be the longest bicycle bridge to have never been used by trains or cars in the state, according to a news release from Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s office.

“Once completed this will be an incredibly beautiful and popular bicycle trail,” Parisi said in the release.

The bridge span being placed over the Yahara River is 100-feet long, 12-feet wide and weighs a little more than 50,000 pounds. It will come close to completing the western bridge structure of the trail, which is 1,200 feet long. The 1,050-foot-long eastern bridge is now finished.

In all, about 2,500 feet of boardwalk will connect the bridges and extend east to McDaniel Park.

The remaining boardwalk will be built over the winter months. Final paving and trail construction are expected to be completed by June.

Janke General Contractors, of Athens, is performing the work.

County officials plan to add on to the trail in future phases. Parisi included $305,000 in the county’s 2017 budget to develop drawings and cost estimates for a one-mile segment of trail between Fish Camp County Park and Lake Kegonsa State Park.

This second phase of the project will include a combination of paved surfaces, bridges and a boardwalk.

About Alex Zank, [email protected]

Alex Zank is a construction reporter for The Daily Reporter. He can be reached at 414-225-1820.

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