The Stewart Tunnel is an iconic biking landmark here in Wisconsin, providing shade and cooler temperatures to Badger State Trail users through its .25 mile curved tunnel. Unfortunately, the Stewart Tunnel has been closed since catastrophic rain events in 2018. Years later, trail-goers are still left wondering when this important piece of biking infrastructure and Wisconsin history will be restored.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) sought public input for the options presented through a Department of Administration alternatives analysis; during that process Bike Fed advocated for options that get cyclists off the road and preserves the integrity of the historic tunnel. We were pleased when DNR announced that it had chosen to move forward wiith Option 4 – corrugated metal pipe lining – for the tunnel, which would again allow for cycling use through it.
Now, DNR will be seeking funding for pursuing this option. Bike Fed is working alongside the agency to advocate for funding through the budget process.
The local group, Friends of the Badger and Sugar River State Trails, is a great place to start getting involved. As frequent users of this community landmark, they are well-equipped to guide advocacy efforts at the local level.
Additionally, let your legislator know that funding for trails is important to every community throughout Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Administration
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