MENOMONIE — A former railroad bridge has been repurposed to allow hikers and bicyclists to safely cross Interstate 94 and enhance Menomonie’s trail system.
The Junction Trail Bridge was opened to the public Thursday, stretching over the freeway north of Oak Avenue.
Randy Eide, Menomonie public works director, said the bridge offers a safe route for pedestrians across the highway.
“It’s a more safe and direct connection,” he said.
The project started a year ago and cost $843,000. Eide said the city received a federal grant through the Transportation Alternative Program, which covered $581,000 of the total cost. The contractor for the project was Lunda Construction of Black River Falls.
Eide said the city streets department helped connect Menomonie’s existing trail system to the bridge. As a result, the bridge is now part of 16 miles of off-road trails in Menomonie.
“I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback from residents and businesses,” he said.
Dave Williams, a member of the city Bicycle/Pedestrian Advisory Committee, said bike enthusiasts have been trying to expand Menomonie’s trail system for years and the bridge over I-94 is a key component of their mission.
The bridge allows people to bike from south Menomonie up to Walmart on the north side for groceries and to eat at other restaurants.
“We are really working hard to make Menomonie a biking destination,” Williams said.
Latacia Greeley, tourism director at the Menomonie Chamber of Commerce, said the chamber is excited the city is opening up the accessibility of its trail system to more people.
“We are a biking friendly community,” she said.
She said the bridge will allow guests staying at Menomonie’s hotels to easily access trails all around Dunn County.
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