On August 15, 2023, the Town of Warren received word from the Vermont Agency of Transportation that its funding request to build the first segment of the Sugarbush Access Road Shared-Use Path was successful. The project was approved for $769,280 in federal funds from the VTrans Bicycle & Pedestrian Grant Program, selected in a competitive process from among 15 applications statewide and grant requests totaling over $14.6 million.
The project consists of the final design and construction of Segment 1 of the ten-foot-wide ADA-Accessible Sugarbush Access Road Shared-Use Path, establishing a 0.7-mile-long off-road pedestrian connection from Inferno Road to Golf Course Road in Warren. The western terminus of Segment 1 is Sugarbush Resort (at Inferno Road), with the eastern terminus being Workforce Housing/Lower Woods Trail Network Trailhead/proposed Mad Bus bus stop structure (at Golf Course Road). The majority of the path alignment is located within the public right-of-way, with the exception of a section owned by Sugarbush Resort. Segment 1 of the Sugarbush Access Road Path implements a key “Major Off Road Connection” identified in the 2015 “Mad River Valley Moves Active Transportation Plan” and further detailed in the 2017 “Town of Warren Sugarbush Access Road Path Scoping Study.” The project’s history goes back as far as 1987’s “Preliminary Feasibility Study – Sugarbush Access Road Pathway Design.”
The realization of this first segment of the Sugarbush Access Road Shared-Use Path addresses long-standing safety issues along the corridor through the provision of dedicated and accessible pedestrian infrastructure in this high-profile, densely populated location. The project seeks to further community-wide goals of establishing a safe, environmentally friendly, accessible, and integrated transportation network, increasing both the desirability and feasibility of non-vehicular travel. Among its many benefits, the Shared-Use Path will connect Sugarbush’s planned workforce housing with the mountain, providing a safe way to get to and from work for 240 seasonal workers, in addition to 188 seasonal and year-round residences and 6 businesses.
The successful grant application was made possible through the collaborative efforts of the Town of Warren, Sugarbush Resort, the Mad River Path Association, the Central VT Regional Planning Commission, and the Mad River Valley Planning District. All of these partners, plus property owners along the Sugarbush Access Road, are ready to see this long-awaited project come to reality. The VTrans award represents 80% project funding, with the remaining 20% match ($192,316) committed and dedicated through a joint effort of the Town of Warren & Sugarbush Resort. This was the third attempt to seek funding from the VTrans Bicycle & Pedestrian Grant Program (previously in 2019 and 2022) to implement the Sugarbush Access Road Path Scoping Study that was completed in 2017. Final Design is anticipated to commence in 2024.