Monroe Street Reconstruction 2018: What to Expect

Prepared with community input by the DMNA Transportation Committee

A Few Tips

March through November will be a challenging time for the neighborhood – construction, dust, noise, and disruptions to parking and traffic. While Reconstruction will be difficult, the process has been years in the making, and promises to provide many upgrades for residents and visitors. During Reconstruction, please consider:

  • Planning ahead for transportation using carpooling, taking buses, walking and using the bike trails when possible;
  • Paying special attention to local businesses on Monroe Street – including restaurants and retailers who need local support;
  • Respecting residential communities and watching speeds on side streets when finding alternate routes for driving; and
  • Contacting DMNA, Alder Eskrich, and using City resources to address concerns and get questions answered. They’re all here to help! See contact info included below.


Contact information

City of Madison Project Manager Jim Wolfe: or 608.266.4099

DMNA Transportation Chair Richelle Andrae:

Alder Sara Eskrich:

Subscribe to Reconstruction updates online: visit

Madison Police Department Traffic Complaint Line: 608-266-4624


During Reconstruction

When is Reconstruction expected to occur? The Reconstruction process is expected to occur from March 12, 2019 through November 2018. Light construction will begin earlier with MG&E work. Monroe St. will be down to 1 lane of traffic moving inbound, with all outbound traffic lanes closed.  Inbound bus stops will be at Glenway, Arbor, Commonwealth, Leonard and Grant.  Temporary bus stop locations will be installed as necessary depending on the construction phase. Outbound buses will be detoured off Monroe Street, routes TBD.

What will Monroe Street be like during Reconstruction? The project includes two parts: full reconstruction from Leonard Street to Regent Street and resurfacing only (with pavement and utilities replacement) from Odana Road to Leonard Street. Crazylegs Lane will also be closed to create a new public space. South Breese Terrance between Regent Street and Monroe St. will also be closed during Reconstruction. The Southwest Commuter Path will be redirected during some phases of construction but will remain open at all times.

Will there be designated traffic and bus route detours? There is not an intended traffic detour during Reconstruction. The decision was made to limit overuse of any one particular alternate neighborhood route. While this will help limiting the over-burdening of any specific street, natural detours will emerge. Contact MPD or DMNA Transportation to inquire about speeding signage and speed enforcement measures. Signage at either end of Monroe Street will go up 14 days before Reconstruction begins, notifying travelers that road work will begin 3/19.

What are anticipated work hours? 7AM to 7PM are the allowed work hours, Monday through Saturday, 10AM to 7PM on Sundays. The work hours are based on the noise ordinance, which has specific decibel limits. 

I heard that the bids for the project came in over what the City had expected. Are there any changes to the Reconstruction plan based on this information? There will be a compromise to manage the costs and our budget – the City will no longer be undergrounding the utility lines in the business districts (as proposed), but contractors will work to ensure conduit is prepared so that businesses can underground more feasibly in the future.

How can residents and visitors access businesses on Monroe Street during Reconstruction? By vehicle, cars will need to use the single travel lane and find parking on one of the side streets or in an adjacent public lot (public parking near Trader Joe’s for example).  The contractor is then required to maintain sidewalks on one side of the street for complete blocks, and then while completing work within the sidewalk on the other side of the street, access to businesses will need to be from one side of the street or the other.  Sidewalks will be temporarily restored as needed to maintain access.  Temporary crosswalks will also be provided at intersections. For the outbound direction, people should be prepared to find alternate routes, and, depending on where they are heading, Regent/Speedway/Mineral Point will be a popular alternative, as will Park/Fish Hatchery Rd or University/Campus/Midvale.  During construction, the sidewalk on one side of the street will remain open at all times.

How much warning will I receive regarding water and utility turn-offs? The City website will provide updates on any traffic or lane changes or work progress updates, but the contractor or Madison Water Utility will contact residents or businesses directly regarding water shut-offs.  Often, this will involve a representative stopping at the affected properties and either speaking to anyone that’s home or leaving door hangers with the necessary information at the front door.  A similar approach will be taken for the driveway closures.  Water shut-offs are required to be notified 48 hours in advance, and driveway closures, 24 hours. There will be average of two planned water shut-offs, with potential for emergency shut-offs possible.

I live in the neighborhood and think I’ll need a street parking pass. What should I do? Free residential parking permits would only be available to people that live on Monroe St. and within a 2 hour parking area.  Anyone that meets that criteria could contact the Project Manager (Jim Wolfe), who will pass along the permit information and applications.  The applications are then processed through City Traffic Engineering, and information on where to submit the applications is on the info sheets.

I live in an assessment zone. What should I expect? Assessments can be paid in lump sum or over 8 years with 3% interest rate. Final assessments will be mailed in the summer of 2019, following the project completion. Final assessments will be calculated based on bid prices and measured quantities (Assessments to adjacent property owners, with property owner and city share available online).

Where can I find more resources? Find maps, project details, information about the redesign at Crazylegs Plaza and Wingra Park Entrance and sign up for Reconstruction updates online at



Where will bus stops and speed tables be located? Speed tables are planned for Monroe & Glenway, Monroe & Knickerbocker, Monroe at Edgewood College Drive, and Monroe & Harrison. The total number of bus stops will be reduced along Monroe Street, to improve on-time performance, with a total of 9 fewer stops than today.  Average distance between stops will be 1,100 feet, with most stops located after intersections, which improves pedestrian safety and driver visibility. See map at for more information.

Can we expect any new amenities and other improvements? Thanks to a $10,000 donation of capital funds from DMNA neighbors, new bus stops with benches will be at:

  • Westbound Monroe @ Leonard
  • Westbound Monroe @ Commonwealth
  • Westbound Monroe @ Crandall
  • Westbound Monroe @ Gilmore
  • Eastbound Commonwealth @ Gregory
  • Eastbound Commonwealth @ Leonard

Improvements will also include:

  • Improved signage along SW commuter path;
  • On-street bike parking;
  • High visibility crosswalks and crossing islands and raised intersections at 4 locations (Harrison, Leonard, Knick, Glenway);
  • Side street rain gardens;
  • Tree grates and soil improvements;
  • Multi-space parking meters and bus stop amenities; and
  • New lighting throughout the corridor.

What will parking and street crossing look like on Monroe after Reconstruction? Parking on Monroe St. will remain the same as existing.  However, some of the bus stops are being relocated, so in those areas, parking may be removed around the new stop locations, but added in the areas of the old bus stops. Lighted pedestrian crossings (or RRFBs, rectangular rapid flashing beacons) currently installed on Monroe will remain in the same locations (Odana, Knickerbocker, Edgewood, and Harrison).  The only changes are that the one at Western will be moved to Chapman/Arbor and the one at Prospect will be moved to the more easterly crossing of that intersection that aligns more with Van Buren.

Will Monroe Street speed limit be changed? The speed limit on Monroe St. will be 25 mph in all locations following the project.