Much like the spokes on a wheel, the Wagon Wheel Connector project in La Crosse would serve as a hub of interconnectivity for hundreds of miles of trails between Wisconsin and Minnesota communities. While the actual project is quite small – less than a mile long – the benefits for trail users on the state’s western coast would be far-reaching. The project involved creating a protected two-way bike and pedestrian lane on an already-existing bridge that connects La Crescent, Minnesota and La Crosse, Wisconsin. On the Minnesota side, their portion of the project will be complete soon. It’s now time for the Wisconsin side to step up and get this project underway.
After meetings with local stakeholders, it became clear the biggest obstacle for this project, like so many others, is funding. Unlike other projects, the advocates on the ground working to move this forward have all the components they need to secure funding, but simply have lacked adequate grant writing to make it happen. Bike Fed has been working alongside these motivated stakeholders to ensure their grant application for Transportation Alternative Program funding (TAP) is a strong contender to receive funds. Stakeholders were able to submit a TAP application in winter of 2022, and we are excited to share that their application was approved and will be receiving the funds needed to get the Wisconsin side of the Wagon Wheel Connector underway.