Dorset Street 'Gap' Shared Use Path Project

Shared Use Path along the south end of Dorset Street
Project Location - 
The Dorset Street 'Gap' shared use path project is a 0.7 mile long gap between existing bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure located between the Old Cross Road/Nowland Farm Road intersection and Sadie Lane in South Burlington.

Project History - 
The City's Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee identified this project as a priority in 2016 after conducted four public meetings to survey residents and determine bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure needs throughout the City.    This project ranked in the top 20 out of 70, after the Committee ranked the project based on the following factors: Recreation Path Gaps, Crosswalk Gaps, Walking Trail Gaps, and Sidewalk Gaps.  This priority project list has since ended up as the Committee's Penny for Paths (P4P) priority project list.

The Dorset Project has also been identified within the City's Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for over a decade, and now is found on a specific bike/ped improvements CIP, which is approved by Council every year.  This project has also been noted in the City's Impact Fee Ordinance, and is identified in the City's Comprehensive Plan from 2016.


In 2017,  the project was also included in a scoping study that was conducted to analyze and evaluate the feasibility of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure along this stretch of Dorset Street.  Alternative concepts were evaluated for this stretch of roadway, and input was gathered via workshops, presentations, and meetings.  A preferred alternative for this project area was identified through this process, and it was supported by the City's Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee and the Planning Commission.  The design for the current project stems from this preferred alternative concept.

In 2019, the City received a grant from VTrans to support the design and construction of the preferred alternative concept.  The City will receive $661,000 of federal funding, and will match that with $165,400.  The City is able to match more than the required amount due to the availability of both P4P funding and Recreation Impact Fees for this project.  In fact, the public's large support for the P4P initiative and availability of funding was an important reason the City was able to secure a grant for this priority project.


Project Overview/Purpose - 
South Burlington has 24 miles of shared use path that are used year round.  With the exception of the 0.7 mile gap this project is focused on, the South Burlington Dorset Street Shared Use Path runs for approximately 4 miles from its northern terminus at Williston Road, through City Center, past the Middle & High School, past several churches, past Vet Memorial Park and Wheeler Nature Park, and an increasingly growing number of neighborhoods.

This project will close the 0.7 mile gap by creating a 10 foot wide paved shared use path along a section of Dorset Street that does not have bike lanes or a shoulder that is safely accessible to users.  Currently, the Dorset Street shared use path is connected to almost all other branches of the City's path network, and it is South Burlington's main connector path for bikers and pedestrians.  Closing this gap will also provide safe pedestrian and bicycle access to the immediate area's only commercial businesses, including the Mill Market & Deli.  Once completed, the new shared use path will give residents and commuters the ability to reach businesses and restaurants off Shelburne Road, medical facilities off Hinesburg Road at Tilley Drive, City Center, the businesses and restaurants off Williston Road, as well as City schools and parks.  It will give the City an opportunity to become less dependent on cars by providing better access for residents of all ages to conduct daily business by foot or bicycle.

Project Status - 

Public Forum - February 10 2021; 5:30 PM; Virtual Meeting 
The public is invited to join the City's Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee in a discussion of the City's shared use path project along Dorset Street, between Old Cross Road and Sadie Lane.  The project team is seeking public input before moving onto the next stages of the design.

If you were not able to join us for the Public Forum, you can view the presentations below.  Project related questions can be submitted to the City Project Manager, Ashley Parker, at: aparker@sburl.com.

Project History/Background Presentation
Project Design Review Presentation
Project Layout Slide

In January of 2020, the City released a Request for Qualifications for this project, and submissions were due January 27, 2020.  City staff received five Statements of Qualifications and formed a Selection Committee to rank them.  Stantec was the firm that received the most total points by the Selection Committee, and the Selection Committee then recommended that the City Council authorize the negotiation and signature of a contract with Stantec for this project.  The City Council then approved the authorization of the City Manager to negotiate and sign an agreement with Stantec in February of 2020.

The project is currently in the design and engineering phase.  City staff kicked this project off with other project team members (including Stantec and VTrans) in April of 2020.  A project survey that was necessary to gather 'on-the-ground' information about the project site that will be incorporated into the overall design was completed in the summer of 2020.  The consultant has completed 30% design plans, and the City's Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee first reviewed those plans in October 2020.  The plans have begun the permitting process and a Phase 1B Archeology Study has been completed.
 
The project is now going to be presented to the public formally at a Public Forum on February 10, 2021 (details above).  All comments and feedback will be incorporated into the overall project design.  Once the project gets through the initial permitting phase, the City will begin the Right-of-Way process.

Project Note - 
The COVID-19 pandemic slowed the project a bit, but staff are hopeful that the design and permitting phases will continue.

Project Funding - 
In November of 2019, the City accepted a grant for federal funding of $661,000 to design and construct the project.  The City will be providing a match of $165,400.  The match will be comprised of funds from both the City's Penny for Paths fund and available Rec Impact Fees.

Project Questions - 
All project questions can be sent to Ashley Parker, City Project Manager, at: aparker@sburl.com.