Jeramey Jannene

City Seeks Grants for New Bike Trails

Powerline Trail would run from S. 105th St. to Lake Michigan. Beerline Trail would be extended.

By - May 19th, 2020 09:21 am
The Powerline Trail corridor. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Powerline Trail corridor. Photo by Jeramey Jannene.

The Department of Public Works is pursuing state grants to extend two bike trails in Milwaukee.

On the south side, DPW is working in partnership with the City of Greenfield to bring the Powerline Trail into the city. The municipalities are jointly pursuing a $250,000 grant to fund half of the costs associated with extending the trail east from S. 60th St. to S. 43rd St.

The first phase of the Powerline Trail is already funded and will be built in a We Energies-owned corridor from the Oak Leaf Trail at S. 105th St. and W. Cold Spring Rd. east to S. 60th St. The corridor roughly parallels W. Plainfield Ave.

The City of Milwaukee would need to provide $120,000 for its share of the second phase which would run through the Honey Creek Manor neighborhood from S. 60th St. to S. 51st St. before entering Greenfield.

The 200-foot-wide corridor ultimately continues east all the way to Lake Michigan and is planned for a shared-use trail as part of the planned Route of the Badger 700-mile trail network. The corridor was formerly used as an interurban line and now contains only a large power line.

“The wide, largely flat corridor provides plenty of room for a new 10’-wide paved bike/pedestraian trail to be constructed without requiring any utility relocations or disruption to the existing towers and poles,” said the City of Greenfield in its grant request.

The earliest the southside trail could open is 2022.

In the Harambee neighborhood on Milwaukee’s north side, the city would add a 320-foot eastern extension onto the Beerline Trail to better connect it with the neighborhood. Riverworks Development Corporation would maintain the trail. Wayfinding signage and landscaping work are also planned.

The trail was extended 0.6 miles northwest from N. Richards St. across W. Capitol Dr. in 2015, but there are limited access points to the trail. The extension would be built across the property at 3745 N. Richards St. to connect with N. Hubbard St. and E. Vienna Ave.

The project is expected to open by the summer of 2021 according to a city report. If the grant is awarded, the city would need to fund $62,500 of the project’s costs.

The building at 3745 N. Richards St. is being redeveloped as The Beerline Building. Milwaukee Pretzel Company announced plans in 2019 to lease 30,000 square feet of space in the 108,000-square-foot building. Flux Design is also a tenant in the building. A leasing brochure for the building promotes access to the trail as an amenity.

The city is also pursuing a longer extension of the trail north towards the city limits as part of another program.

Powerline Trail

Beerline Trail

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Categories: Transportation

3 thoughts on “Transportation: City Seeks Grants for New Bike Trails”

  1. weitenma83 says:

    There was an interurban line, called the Lakeside Belt Line, in this corridor, not a streetcar line. The Belt Line ran from the Lakeside Power Plant in St. Francis to a connection at approximately 100th and Howard with the interurban line that went from downtown to Hales Corners. The Belt Line was designed as a freight line. It never had regular passenger service. It was torn up in the 1950’s and 60’s.

  2. Johnstanbul says:

    Amazing idea but is there any reason it needs to be pure grass on either side? Why can’t native plantings be placed there?

  3. biggimint says:

    @Johnstanbul I think that’s relegation with regards to power lines. They need to be clear cut corridors to avoid trees and brush interfering with the power lines and maintenance.

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