Last Updated: 05/20/2022

Latest Update

5/20/2022 Update:

On 5/11, the Board of Public Works approved the plans and assessments for the 2022 Lake Mendota Dr. reconstruction project.  There will be another public hearing before the Common Council on 5/24/22.  You can register for the meeting on the Clerk’s website once the agenda is available for the meeting.

Project Overview

The City of Madison is planning to reconstruct Lake Mendota Dr. Due to the size/scope of the work, this work will be completed over several years, with work being completed on several blocks each year.  In 2022, work is planned for the western most blocks, in 2023, the eastern blocks, and the middle blocks in 2024.

In general, the reconstruction project will include replacement of underground City utilities, especially storm sewer and sanitary sewer, and reconstruction of the street infrastructure (pavement, gravel base) along with any curb or sidewalk installations that are approved for the project(s).  We have received many complaints from residents regarding the pavement condition along Lake Mendota Dr., and it has deteriorated to a point where periodic maintenance patching is no longer viable, so the streets will need to be reconstructed to provide a ridable surface for all users.

The City of Madison is committed to providing safe, reliable, and equitable transportation options for all residents.  Sidewalks are vital to fulfilling this commitment, and their importance is well documented in the variety of plans and policies that have been adopted by the City, which help guide the design of all of our projects.  In particular, this includes the Madison in Motion Transportation Plan, the Imagine Madison Comprehensive Plan, and Vision Zero.  Sidewalks provide a safe space for all pedestrians to use and improve accessibility to the parks and schools in the area, and will provide the option to make short trips without using a vehicle.  Whether you’re walking for transportation or recreation, pushing a stroller, a kid trying to get to school, or if you’re using a mobility aid, you should have facilities available to be able to do those activities safely and comfortably.

While there have not been a large number of crashes along Lake Mendota Dr. (6 since 2016), whenever the City proceeds with a significant project, we always review opportunities to improve safety and accessibility.  Crash history does help guide our budgeting and project selection process, but, even though this project was scheduled primarily due to the pavement condition and drainage needs, it’s still important to review the project for possible safety improvements.  These types of reconstruction projects and investments only occur once every several decades, so it would be irresponsible to ignore known safety and accessibility issues. 

We believe that this project can be designed to meet the City’s transportation goals, along with giving strong consideration to the environment.  As with all projects, protecting the existing tree canopy is a priority with this project, which is also important for maintaining the character of the neighborhood.  With the project, we believe that the street width along Lake Mendota Dr. can be narrowed, so, overall, we hope to not have a significant change in the paved surface area.  In terms of salt use, Lake Mendota Dr. is currently a salt route for the streets crews, so a reduction in pavement width would also likely result in a reduction of salt use on the street.  Individual properties will have several options for clearing snow/ice from the sidewalks that don’t involve salt use, options that can more easily be done on a smaller scale on their specific sections of sidewalk rather than on a larger scale, such as the entire street width.  Additionally, providing safe transportation options that allow people to make short trips by not using a car is also an important aspect of our sustainability goals.


We certainly understand that the assessments for these types of projects can be a burden to adjacent property owners.  For this reason, we have established a safe-routes grant that will cover 50% of the costs of any new sidewalks installed, and we can also request that the pay-back period for the assessments be extended out to 15 years, instead of the standard 8 years.  Additionally, the City offers financing to eligible home owners to assist with assessment payments.  More information on that program can be found on the City’s Office of Community Development website.
Proposed Assessments

Project Limits

2022: Lake Mendota Dr. from Baker Ave. to Epworth Ct., and Capital Ave. from Lake Mendota Dr. to the lake

2023: Lake Mendota Dr. from Spring Harbor to the City/Village limits

2024: Lake Mendota Dr. from Epworth Ct. to Spring Harbor, and Norman Way from Lake Mendota Dr. to the lake

Public Involvement

There are a number of points of contact during this project where the public is encouraged to give feedback as part of public information meetings and public hearings. Dates and times are indicated below:

Public Information Meetings

Thank you to everyone who has given feedback and input so far on this project. We’re grateful for your comments, calls, suggestions and feedback. We also want to provide more opportunities to you to share your information in the process as the design moves forward. This includes additional public meetings, as well as presentations to the Transportation Commission, Board of Public Works, and the Common Council.  The dates and times for all of these meetings will be updated on the project page.  The Transportation Commission provided some initial input at the meeting on January 12, and their recommendation was to move forward with a preliminary design that includes sidewalks.  We certainly welcome all feedback on the project, but major policy decisions, such as the installation of sidewalks, need to consider the City’s adopted plans and policies along with the recommendations of the City’s committees.


Lake Mendota Drive Electronic Survey No. 1 results

City Process, Meetings

Transportation Commission: 1/12/22 – as a key decision making body on these types of projects, initial input from the Commission was received at this meeting

Transportation Commission: 3/9/22 – Commission received comments from the public and provided input on the project
Board of Public Works: 4/6/22 - present proposed base street design for LMD (approving geometrics) - approved, with a recommendation to TC to consider sidewalks on one side between Norman and Capital
Transportation Commission: 4/13/22 - present proposed base street design for LMD (approving geometrics) - approved, with sidewalks on both sides between Norman and Capital
Common Council: 4/19/22 - approving geometrics - approved, with sidewalks on both sides between Norman and Capital
Board of Public Works: 5/11/22 - public hearing on 2022 project only, approved
Common Council: 5/24/22 - public hearing on 2022 project only