Monday, August 23, 2010

More on the Brookfield-Waukesha trail

I was curious about the condition of the right-of-way between Brookfield and Waukesha that I mentioned in a previous post: Are the bridges in good condition? What does the crossing look like where the County's right-of-way crosses the highly-trafficked Canadian National (CN) line, right underneath a bridge of I-94?

So I parked at the Wonderland Pub at the intersection of JJ and F, and took a little hike up the abandoned right-of-way towards the interstate. Here are some pictures.

First, here's a photo taken from Frame Park at the intersection of North Street and Moreland Boulevard, looking north. I think there's room for a bike path next to Highway F, don't you?

The lovely Wonderland Pub. No, I didn't stop in--maybe next time. ;)

The right-of-way was pretty weedy but not completely overgrown. Two bridges were in pretty good condition. I'm no expert but it seemed to me that the existing bridges could simply be rehabbed, rather than re-built:

Approaching the I-94 bridge. Harris Lumber is on the left. There is a little spur from the Canadian-National line that Harris Lumber is using. The abandoned right-of-way where a path would be built is to the right of the tracks in the picture below; I think the County removed the tracks and sold the scrap metal in the past 2 years or so.

The I-94 bridge over the tracks. Again, the abandoned right-of-way does NOT have any tracks on it, and is to the right of the tracks in this photo.

Here's what it looks like under the I-94 bridge. You can see the CN tracks behind the bridge pillars. Unfortunately I didn't get a good shot of where the right-of-way continues after it crosses the CN tracks. (Another hike!) However, negotiating a bike path crossing with Canadian-National over their extremely busy tracks will be a very tricky challenge. It may require a bridge, or some innovative thinking.

The WBA is currently preparing a letter to send to County officials and to Waukesha, Pewaukee, and Brookfield aldermen whose districts border the trail. We'll request that they prioritize building this multi-use path and look for State or Federal grants to help leverage the cost of constructing it.


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  2. I did a similar hike a couple weeks ago. I went up till North Ave till I got overwhelmed by mosquitoes. I-94 to north ave was much more wooded. Passing North Ave. looked worse, but nothing a small chain saw couldn't take care of.

  3. I wanna go ride this already!
    Hopefully it goes through, keep up the great work!

  4. Mark--Did you take any pictures? If so, I would love to post them in a later post.

  5. Yeah, that looks like it would be a fun ride.

  6. I think that is a trail that would get used a lot. I always wondered if they would convert that to a bike trail.

    Am I the only one that is kind of surprised that the Wonderland Tap has a Facebook Page?