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County fund will build bike trail between Middleton, Mazomanie

County fund will build bike trail between Middleton, Mazomanie

BLACK EARTH, Wis. - New funding will help the county get land to build a bike trail that will connect Middleton to Mazomanie, according to a release.

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced Monday the $1 million Black Earth Creek Connections Fund will provide matching grant dollars that local communities can access through the county to continue developing the Good Neighbor Trail starting in 2017.

The Good Neighbor Trail is a proposed off-street bicycle/pedestrian path that is expected to go between Middleton and Mazomanie in the Black Earth Creek Valley, officials said.

"This fund will help local government and non-profits work together to develop the Good Neighbor Trail," Parisi said in the release. "The Good Neighbor Trail will help keep bicyclists safe and increase local economic development. I am happy Dane County is able to help make this trail a reality."

The death of a bicyclist on Highway 14 near Cross Plains over the summer restarted a conversation about prospects for a Good Neighbor Trail linking Middleton with western Dane County, according to the release.

Early planning for the trails was done in 2011, and the greatest hurdle remains identifying property owners within the likely trail corridor who are willing to sell or grant easements for trail development, officials said.

Dane County has partnered with several communities through the Partners for Recreation and Conservation grant program to build sections of the trail in the Town of Mazomanie and Village of Cross Plains, according to the release. Grants have totaled $513,000 for 3.3 miles of trail. The Wolf Run Trail, a section of the Good Neighbor Trail, travels from downtown Mazomanie to Wisconsin Heights High School.

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