As described in Working Paper 4, Milwaukee’s recommended bikeway system consists of a comprehensive network of on-street bikeways. This chapter presents planning-level cost opinions for these proposed bicycle improvements, as well as for maintenance activities. Grant funding sources are identified, as are potential local sources of revenue. An implementation strategy follows, presenting a targeted methodology for how Milwaukee can implement projects under different funding scenarios. Finally, the chapter closes with a discussion of implementation policies that can bolster and institutionalize the development of a high-quality bikeway network.
This section summarizes planning level cost opinions associated with the recommended bicycle improvement projects. Cost opinions were provided by City of Milwaukee Staff and supplemented with costs from other similar Bicycle Master Plans and experience in nearby communities. Table 1 following shows costs for bicycle improvements.
Table 1. Unit Costs for Bicycle Improvements
Planning-Level Cost Opinion
Roadway Re-Striping (for bike lanes)
Cost Opinions Overview
The total implementation cost of the Milwaukee Bicycle Plan is estimated at approximately $4.2 million, as shown in Table 2.
Table 2. Summary Costs for Bicycle Improvements
Table 3 shows construction and maintenance information for the recommended system. These costs summarize detailed planning level cost opinions for individual facilities (Tables 4 through 6) and maintenance cost estimates shown in Table 7.
Short-term and medium-term facilities include bike lanes and signed routes. These facilities were chosen for early implementation based on their low-level of cost and relative ease of implementation. Bicycle boulevards are included as long-term facility recommendations, based on expense. The City may choose to prioritize facilities designated as medium or long-term facilities as opportunities arise. For example, bike lane striping is dependant on the purchase of a new paint truck. Once the truck is purchased, the city may proceed with bike lane installation immediately rather than waiting to first complete installation of all sings along proposed bicycle routes.
Table 3. Planning-Level Cost Opinions for Bicycle Projects
Bicycle Corridor Improvements
Short-Term (Bike Routes)
Medium-Term (Bike Lanes)
Individual Project Cost Opinions
Tables 4 through 6 list the recommended projects by category and include planning-level cost opinions. The cost opinions include contingency and construction management costs, which represent a proportion of the original project costs.
Table 4. Planning-Level Cost Opinions for Bicycle Routes4
On-street bikeways require regular maintenance and repair as previously discussed in Working Paper 3. In Milwaukee on-street bikeways are maintained as part of standard roadway maintenance programs. Extra emphasis should be placed on keeping bike lanes and roadway shoulders clear of debris and keeping vegetation overgrowth from blocking visibility or creeping into the roadway as bicycle riders are more susceptible to poor roadway conditions than motorists. Typical maintenance costs for on-street bikeway facilities are shown in Table 7.
Table 7. On-Street Bikeway Maintenance Frequency and Cost Opinions
Every 20 years
Every 20 years
Every 3 years
Weekly/monthly as needed
Part of regular street sweeping activities
Depends on conditions1, ~$146/mile
5 months – 1 year
Part of regular street maintenance activities
Sign repair/ replacement
Every 10 years
Move signs, patch and sweep
Table 8 shows the expected annual maintenance cost for the entire on-street bikeway system. Items included in the annual cost estimate include restriping bikeways, sign repair and replacement, and a small additional cost for additional spot patching, sign movement and sweeping as necessary. Items not included in this estimate are regular street sweeping, snow removal and regular pavement resurfacing, which occurs approximately every 20 years. Based on the activities included in Table 7 the City currently spends about $110,000 annually on bikeway maintenance. It is estimated that the annual maintenance budget for the City must increase by about $160,000 dollars when the bikeway system is completely constructed in order to keep the on-street bikeway network in good repair.