The effort to trail over the next few years is welcomed news to some residents, but for area bikers, the closure of the bridge near Quad/Graphics is a hassle.
However, new information that the bridge should be fully operational by the end of next week has Sussex bikers like Mike Boehm excited it'll soon be over. After being annoyed by the closure for weeks, Boehm emailed Waukesha County Parks Supervisor Robert Garity to get some answers.
"Our staff has been working on the bridge every day (most of these days without a lunch break) in order to get the bridge done as soon as possible," Garity replied in an email to Boehm. "We expect the bridge to be done by the middle to the end of next week, which will be one week sooner than even the engineer predicted. Once the bridge is open, all of the signs and barricades will be removed."
The construction is a part of the county's goal of reconstructing every bridge on the Bugline after 28 years of use. And considering the bridge near Quad/Graphics is suspended over C&N Railroad tracks, constructing a new bridge was more complicated and more expensive.
Garity said the railroad company requires a flag person to supervise all the work because there are different complications involved. That person is paid $1,000 a day at a limit of five-and-a-half hours of work each day.
"The bridge is 151 feet long, and it was 9 feet, 3 inches wide," Garity wrote. "Current specs for the improvement of the trail call for the bridge to be 12 feet wide, and approved for a weight of 20,000 pounds. Waukesha County hired an engineer to draw up a plan for the bridge, and then we had laminated panels built by a company that specializes in recreational bridges."
And according to Boehm, he's gotten a first-hand look at what will soon be a completed bridge.
"I just took a quick ride over to the bridge and talked with a guy who was there," said Boehm. "He said the bridge is structurally complete but they still have to finish the railings and that sort of thing. I walked my bike across it and it looks nice."
Waukesha County is obligated to reconstruct the bridges in order for them to be up to code. Residents eager to use the trail but are unable due to the construction can use the following routes:
From the west: Take Waukesha Avenue west to Good Hope Road. Take a right on Good Hope Road and travel down to Townline Road. Turn right on Townline, and in about a quarter-mile, the trail will cross Townline Road.
From the east: Take Townline Road to Good Hope Road. Turn left on Good Hope to Waukesha Avenue. Turn left on Waukesha Avenue, and in about a half a mile, the trail crosses Waukesha Avenue.
Editor's Note: This article was updated at 1:22 p.m. on Thursday with a quote from Mike Boehm.