The Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Department is putting the word out on social media and Front Porch Forum. It’s asking people to use North Avenue instead — accessible by Depot Street at the southern end of the construction and Institute Road at the northern end.
Construction work won’t affect the skate park, North Beach or the Community Sailing Center.
A construction crew has been working on the $2.4 million project throughout the summer, rerouting one section of the bike path along the Urban Reserve closer to Lake Champlain and removing 1,400 tons of asphalt and concrete from the surrounding area.
But to repave the rest of the path from Texaco Beach to just south of North Beach, the city has no choice but to shut it down to all traffic, said parks director Jesse Bridges.
Why will it take two and a half months?
“We’re not just slapping down a new coat of asphalt,” Bridges explained. First, workers will put down layers of gravel, sand and a permeable fabric. The city will also be doing some shoreline restoration work and will plant 150 trees and shrubs.
Bridges acknowledged the inconvenience, but noted: “This is really going to set [the path] up to be an amazing asset for decades.”
Once the project is complete, the city will have repaved approximately two miles of the eight-mile path. Bridges said the goal is to redo the entire path, but the city will have to allocate more funding for the work to continue.
Rick Sharp, who led the movement to create the bike path, had this to say: “I am absolutely delighted that the city is moving the bike path out to the water’s edge through the so-called ‘North 40 Reserve.’ Unfortunately that will entail closure of the bike path for a short period of time. The closure is worth it.”