Badger State Trail
Sections of loose and falling rocks from the ceiling and side walls inside the Stewart Tunnel on the Badger State Trail caused the DNR to close the tunnel in 2019 for safety concerns. The tunnel remains closed today. Tunnel Road provides a temporary detour for users to go around the tunnel. $6.6 million is included in the Governor’s 2023-25 Biennial Budget for repairing and re-opening the Stewart Tunnel. The DNR will initiate the project in fall 2023 for Department of Administration (DOA) approval and management (all capital development projects over $50,000 are managed by DOA). The tunnel project will proceed with repairs consistent with the scope of work described as Alternative 4 – Corrugated Metal Pipe Lining in the Stewart Tunnel Alternatives Analysis Report (see below).
Stewart Tunnel Alternatives Analysis
In December 2021, engineering firm GEI Consultants provided a Badger State Trail Stewart Tunnel Review of Alternatives Report for the Stewart Tunnel that analyzed nine different alternatives from an engineering standpoint. The DNR used the GEI report as a starting point for developing the Stewart Tunnel Alternatives Analysis report that analyzed a variety of considerations to formulate a recommendation.
- Stewart Tunnel Alternatives Analysis
- Appendix A – Key Considerations and Evaluation Measures
- Appendix B – GEI Consultants Engineering Report
- Appendix C – Survey Responses (Questions 5-9)
- Appendix D – Survey Responses (Question 10)
- Appendix E – Stakeholder Respondents
A public comment period was conducted from April through June 17, 2022, on the draft Alternatives Analysis report. Stakeholders and the public were encouraged to submit comments using an online feedback form or in writing to the department. A total of 901 public comments were received.
The Alternatives Analysis report recommends Alternative 4 – Corrugated Metal Pipe Lining – because it would provide a long-term solution for ensuring safer, year-round access to the tunnel for recreational purposes while also preserving the bat hibernaculum. Additional information regarding the recommendation can be found in the Stewart Tunnel Alternatives Analysis.
Recreation Partnerships, External Relations and Communication Section Chief
Phone: 608 515-6006