Arboretum Drive set to reopen to motor vehicle traffic July 31

Arboretum Drive
The entrance to Arboretum Drive at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum is pictured on July 24, 2020. Following a period of being closed to vehicle traffic to allow for increased pedestrian traffic due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the roadway will open to vehicle traffic on July 31, 2020. (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)
Credit: (Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

MADISON, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Madison announced Friday that they will be reopening Arboretum Drive starting July 31, according to a news release.

In May, Arboretum Drive from the Wingra Drive entrance to the UW-Madison Arboretum Visitor Center was temporarily closed due to the high volume of pedestrians and bicycle usage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the release said.

Officials said the university is reopening the road as usage decrease and the UW-Madison campus begins its ‘Smart Restart’ gradual reopening plan.

Visitors will have access to the road, parking lots and the Visitor Center area from both east and west entrances. Residents who live adjacent to the Arboretum will be able to use the full stretch of Arboretum Drive to access their homes and neighborhood, the release said.

The release said walkers, joggers, cyclists and wildlife heavily used Arboretum Drive and McCaffery Drive, so road safety continues to be a high priority. The speed limit will be reduce from 25 mph to 20 mph, once the road reopens. Improved signage and crosswalks will be implemented in the future, officials said.

Drivers should observe the posted speed limit, be alert for pedestrians and wildlife and extremely cautious around blind curves, the report said.

The gate between Visitor Center parking lots will be closed to prevent through traffic. The Visitor Center remains closed and all Arboretum events are cancelled until further notice, the release said.

For more information on the Arboretum’s operational status, visit the Arboretum’s website.