The Bee Branch Tunnels under the Chicago Pacific Railway in downtown Dubuque are officially open. Many cyclists and pedestrians are utilizing the trail. The two side-by-side box tunnels (center right above) are lighted and one-directional. The tunnels, located at the eastern end of the Bee Branch on Garfield Avenue, are part of a large reconstruction several years in the making. In addition, six 8-foot diameter tubes flow through three arches and channel water from the Bee Branch. The two bicycle/pedestrian box tunnels will also act as overflow drain tunnels if needed. The heavy rains of July 15 presented this situation, and it worked just as it was engineered.
Riders now have total trail connectivity from the Heritage Trail in Dyersville to the Mississippi River. These new tunnels connect the Heritage Trail and Upper Bee Branch Trail to the Lower Bee Branch Trail. Then riders and walkers can cross Kerper Boulevard and use the Chaplin Schmitt Island Trail to get to the Mississippi River at Riverview Park. A Grand Opening Ceremony was held on June 24th with Mayor Brad Cavanaugh and others celebrating the project’s completion. More information on the tunnels and trail can be found at: Grand Opening Video with Mayor Brad Cavanaugh and Bee Branch History and Design or the city’s webpage.