Beaver Dam boardwalk soon to be complete

April 17, 2019

A Beaver Dam park that previously was only reachable by leaving the city limits, is now connected via a new boardwalk.

The pathway, leading from Starkweather Drive to Edgewater Park, is almost finished and people are already using it. Mike Laue, of MSA Professional Services, told the Common Council’s operations committee on Monday that the bridge is about 90 percent done, The main work to complete is installation of ramps at either end. Right now, it’s a big step up onto the boardwalk from either end.

He said the contractor is waiting for local asphalt plants to begin production, which should happen around mid-May.

Peggy Woock and Sue McMurry were using the boardwalk Tuesday. McMurry said that the new bridge is “fabulous” and a lot bigger than she expected. She remembers when the area was a lot marshier and she lost a shoe there. A jogger was also using the bridge to do a loop from Edgewater to Starkweather.

The council budgeted the boardwalk as a major project for 2019 and the final cost rang in at $199,000. Before the boardwalk, the only way to access Edgewater Park, which is a city park, was leaving the city limits on Highway 33 and entering the park from the north on a route that did not include sidewalk or trails.

Edgewater Park is 152 acres including both improved areas and wetlands. It includes an observation tower, trails, boat launch for Beaver Dam Lake, fishing piers, shelters and bathroom. It annually hosts the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association Fish N Fun event and was the site of Civil War re-enactments several times.

Janke General Contractors successfully bid to complete the boardwalk. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a permit last summer for the project, given the disturbance to the wetlands there.

Other city projects approved for 2019, include reconstruction Roosevelt Drive and an alley behind Front Street as well as a new downtown foot bridge to the Watermark, creating a looped path around the river.