A Walk Bike Bridge Over I-89

East-West Crossing Project

The City of South Burlington is increasing transportation options to encourage walkable, sustainable downtown development in the City Center next to Interstate 89 (I-89) at Exit 14. The East-West Crossing Project - a walk bike bridge over I-89 - will provide a safer and more comfortable crossing of I-89 and remove an obstacle to choosing to bike throughout the area. 

In November 2021, the City of South Burlington received notice of a RAISE grant from the U.S. Office of the Secretary of Transportation for $9.76 million dollars to build the project!  This enabled the City to move forward with design with support from the VTrans Municipal Assistance Services office and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The City hired a large team of designers and engineers led by VHB and with focus groups, public workshops and meetings developed a design concept along the already approved alignment.

East-West Crossing - Walk Bike Bridge over I-89 - Dusk

Draft Final Concept                                        

This design concept for the project was approved by the City Council on November 7th, 2022.  

At the March 2023 Town Meeting Day, voters approved using Tax Increment Financing to fund this project as supplemental to Federal funding.

Next Steps:

This project is in ROW acquisition.  This means the City is working to get this project shovel ready!

Where is the East-West Transportation Crossing Project?

The East West Crossing Project will create an option for pedestrians and bikers (and skateboarders and strollers) that will include a single span bicycle/pedestrian bridge over I-89, just south of the Exit 14 interchange ramps. A shared use path will start at Williston road, adjacent to Staples Plaza and follow 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.
bridge project overview

What is the project development process?

There are four phases to City Center projects: A Scoping, B1 Concept Development, B2 Construction Documents and C Construction.

We are in Phase B2 - Construction Documents

B1 - Concept Development

This phase ended with a final design concept recommendation approval by the City Council and included:
June 16 Workshop 1 - Design Ideas
August 31 Workshop 2 - Concepts for Review
October 13 Workshop 3 - Draft Final Concept
November 7, Presentation to City Council

Completed - Phase 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

Workshop 3 - October 13 | Review Draft Final Concept

View the Workshop 3 powerpoint on the draft final concept:

Powerpoint cover page - workshop 3

Watch a recording of Workshop 3 on the draft final concept:

Workshop 2 - August 31 | Review 3 Concepts 

PowerPoint presentation from Workshop 2

Recording of Workshop 2:

Workshop 1 - June 16 | Design Options

Visit the Virtual Workshop Room!

View Powerpoint Presentation from Workshop 1 | Design Options.

Video Recording of Workshop

A - Project Scoping:

This phase looked at the feasibility, existing conditions, and environmental considerations.  It included several workshops with the public.

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 alignment  and mode 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.  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 awarded a contract to 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 is being driven by Etty Padmodipoetro, AIA, the owner and lead architect at Urban Idea Lab (UIL), a bridge and pedestrian experience designer. The bicycle and pedestrian transportation design engineer is Rick Plenge, PE, PTOE (VHB). The structural team is 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, brings his creative vision as an integrated part of the project team.  Zoraya Hightower of the Peace & Justice Center and Natanya Vanderlaan of Wholeheart provided outreach to underrepresented communities to ensure all voices are front and center during the concept design process.

More Info or Have Comments?

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