The city of Madison received an additional $15.1 million for the reconstruction of John Nolen Drive from the Biden-Harris Administration Thursday, according to an email press release from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration.
The money pays for the reconstruction of six John Nolen Drive bridges on the causeway across Lake Monona, according to city traffic engineer Yang Tao.
Tao’s department is working with the engineering department to help build the bridge. Tao’s department works specifically on the initial design of the causeway, as well as accommodations for pedestrians, bicycles and cars.
The new money comes from the Biden-Harris Administration’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s Bridge Investment Program. The program allotted $300 million for bridge reconstruction across several states, according to a press release from the FHWA.
The funding supplements another federal grant to the city of Madison for the bridge that was $11 million. The total price of the project in total is around $30 million, so with the new grant from the FHWA, $26.1 million has currently been funded by the federal government, Tao said.
The rebuild will replace the 50-year-old causeway, which carries over 48,000 cars every day, Tao said. It also carries thousands of bikes and pedestrians each day as well, making it a major artery to downtown Madison.
The project will be tearing up the bridge and completely replacing it, Tao said. There are six different bridges on the causeway to connect Monona Bay and the rest of Lake Monona. The majority of the bridge is a causeway, which is a raised road or tracks across low or wet ground, Tao said.
The reconstruction will be a part of the Lake Monona waterfront lake redesign and will be designed in coordination with the redesign in mind. Tao said they are currently narrowing down designs for the causeway, and he hopes to finish the design process and begin construction by 2025.
The project has a lot of components to it to increase safety for all users of the causeway, as well as increase mobility along the bridge, Tao said.