Improvements, resurfacing coming to part of Oak Leaf Trail

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jun 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-07 19:56:53-04

Portions of the Oak Leaf Trail will see some improvements this year along spots where the Milwaukee County Parks Department says they've found deterioration.

You may have noticed signs along the trail between the Urban Ecology Center and Lincoln Memorial Drive announcing the improvements. The plan was to begin work in the spring but now the parks department says they will wait until after the busy summer season.

About 1,000 people use the Oak Leaf Trail every day along the portion that needs improvements.

"It's really popular and it's probably one of the more popular ones in the system," said Ramsey Radakovich, the deputy regional manager of land resources with Milwaukee County Parks.

He says they will resurface that portion of the trail and fix some drainage issues.

As a result, they'll have to reroute users when work begins.

"We want to make it safe, we want to make it accessible, we want people to enjoy themselves without having to dodge potholes and stuff like that," he said.

Work is already underway down at South Shore Park in Bay View, where the trail is being shifted to run along the lakefront instead of through the parking lot.

"We've had a lot of debates about what the right route is," Radakovich said. "But for user safety, getting in and out of the cars, move it to the side. It will be a nice complement to the South Shore Marina."

Milwaukee County Parks recently won an award from the Public Policy Forum for its use of data and technology along trails to count users and determine where improvements need to be made.

"I really take onus in the park system here and I'm really proud of it and I think there's a lot of great things to come," Radakovich said.

In addition to that work, sections of the Oak Leaf Trail will also be extended. It will soon connect with the Racine County trail system and The Rock sports complex in Franklin.