A Pedestrian Bicycle Bridge Over I-89

East-West Crossing Project

Over several years the City of South Burlington has increased transportation options to encourage the development of a walkable, sustainable downtown area in the City Center adjacent to the Interstate 89 (I-89) Exit 14. The East-West Crossing Project - a pedestrian and bicycle bridge over I-89 - will provide pedestrians and bicyclists a safer and more comfortable crossing of I-89 and remove a significant barrier to biking in the region. 
In November 2021, the City of South Burlington received notice that we had been awarded a RAISE grant from the Office of the Secretary of Transportation for $9.76 million dollars to build the project, enabling the City to move forward with design with support from the VTrans Municipal Assistance Services office and FHWA.

Participation Opportunity!

Over the summer/fall of 2022 there will be opportunities to provide feed back on the design alternatives and draft final design.  Announcements of Workshops will be here, in the Other Paper, on Front Porch Forum and via e-mail to those who have signed up to receive City Center Updates.  In the interim, you may visit our online virtual meeting room which has materials from our June meeting for ongoing comment:  East West Crossing - June 2022 - Virtual Meeting Room or provide comments directly to Ilona Blanchard.

Where is the East-West Transportation Crossing Project?

The East West Crossing Project will create an alternative transportation option for pedestrians and bikers that will include a single span bicycle/pedestrian bridge over I-89, just south of the Exit 14 interchange ramps. A shared use path adjacent to Staples Plaza along the southwestern edge of the interchange, as well as a connection to a shared use path that runs through the Quarry Hill neighborhood, would connect to the western end. The eastern terminus would be reached through a shared-use route close to the Comfort Inn and CVS, as well as a possible connection to the University Mall property.

What is the project development process?

There are four phases to City Center projects: A Scoping, B 1Concept Development, B 2 Construction Documents and C Construction.

We are in Phase B1 - Concept Development

This phase includes:
June 16 Workshop 1 - Concept Ideas
East West Crossing - June 2022 - Virtual Meeting Room
Late Summer Workshop 2 - Concept Alternatives
Fall Workshop 3 - Draft Concept.

Completed - A Scoping

Scoping for the project was completed in collaboration with the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission through a contract with Stantec. This phase took several years. It began with research examining the project area, including conditions on the ground, the environment and communities on the west and east sides of I-89 at Exit 14, City Center, the Burlington Hill District, in collaboration with the residents, businesses, property owners, and other stakeholders. As a result of this process, Alternative 3, which offers a connection over I-89 at the southernmost part of the Exit 14 interchange, was accepted by the City Council as the Preferred Alignment in May of 2018. 
To better position the project for design and construction funding, the City, with assistance from the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC), undertook a supplemental study of specific environmental characteristics of the preferred alternative - Final Report for Phase II.  This study provided the background for future environmental permitting.

Project materials to date:

B1 - Concept Development

Design Workshop #1 - June 16 public workshop
East West Crossing - June 2022 - Virtual Meeting Room

Powerpoint Presentation from Introduction

Video Recording of Workshop

A - Scoping:

Alternative Transportation Crossing Supplemental Study Report – This supplemental study by CCRPC in partnership with the City through a contract with Stantec examined existing conditions in depth, delineating and mapping wetlands, researching and mapping rights-of-way, property boundaries, easements, and offers of dedication, researching and mapping existing utilities, completing a topographic survey, summarizing permit requirements, and assessing cultural resources. 
Alternative Transportation Crossing Study Report – The I-89 Exit 14 Alternative Transportation Crossing Study undertook scoping in 2016.  Conducted by Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission in partnership with the City of South Burlington it identified both the means and alignment to improve pedestrian and bicycle access across this interchange. Following public workshops, a purpose and need statement was developed and adopted by the Planning Commission.  Project alternatives were presented to the public in a meeting and online as well as in stakeholder meetings and tested against the purpose and need statement in 2017/2018.  A recommendation was presented to the City Council in and adopted by resolution on May 16th, 2018.

Project Funding

The City has a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant from the federal government.  In order to receive this grant of $9,768,834, the City must spend the full estimated cost of $14,555,970 (project cost).  The RAISE grant match has been budgeted for in the City’s Capital Improvement Plan.  It is to be made up of TIF District financing; however, City has identified an estimated $500,000 gap between what is currently eligible for TIF District financing and the awarded RAISE grant amount (less was awarded than what was applied for).  In consultation with the State, as the design progresses, the City will identify sources to fill this gap, whether local, state or federal or a combination of the three.

Project Consultant Team

The City of South Burlington has collaborated with Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) to provide a team of experienced architects, designers, and engineers to design the project. This team is led by Project Manager, Aaron Guyette, PE. The architecture/urban design will be driven by Etty Padmodipoetro, AIA, the owner and lead architect at Urban Idea Lab (UIL), an bridge and pedestrian experience designer. The bicycle and pedestrian transportation design engineer is Rick Plenge, PE, PTOE (VHB). The structural team will be led by Senior Structural Project Manager Christopher Smith, PE. Chris is Assistant Regional Director for Modjeski and Masters (M&M), a bridge engineering firm.  Tyler Vendituoli, a local  artist, will bring his creative vision as an integrated part of the project team.  Zoraya Hightower of the Peace & Justice Center and Natanya Vanderlaan of Wholeheart are providing outreach to underrepresented communities to ensure all voices are part of the design process.

More Info or Have Comments?

We want to hear from you! Please contact Ilona Blanchard, Community Development Director at 802-846-4107.