Forest Hill Cemetery Improvements 2019

Last Updated: 06/18/2019

The The City of Madison Parks Division is undertaking a series of improvements to Forest Hill Cemetery. 

The first phase (of three) of improvements was completed in 2018.  

This consisted of:

  • storm sewer installation in the south half of the cemetery
  • new irrigation system being installed cemetery wide
  • select roadways resurfaced in the southern half of the cemetery.


Phase 2 in 2019 installed storm sewer in the north half of the cemetery and resurfacde roadways impacted by storm sewer installation, similar to phase 1.

The City has bid the project and awarded the construction contract to Parisi Construction Co. Inc.  Construction has begun and will be finished by July 30th.  During this time visitors can expect some disruptions due to construction.  Roadways may be gravel surface and more narrow than usual.  Some temporary roadway closures are expected but access to each cemetery section will be maintained at all times.  Construction equipment will be on site during this time and using the roadways for access and hauling.  Disruptions in water/irrigation service are not anticipated in 2019.

Details on construction activities are as follows:

Storm Sewer:
Prior to 2018 there currently existed no storm sewer in the cemetery.  During large storm events water runs along the paved roadways in the cemetery creating erosion adjacent to the pavement and around headstones.  Water also ran off the cemetery property and onto the property of homeowners adjacent to the cemetery.  This creates flooding problems for the home owners and property damage.  The new storm sewer system will help mitigate this runoff and flooding and bring the cemetery roadways up to the same standard or stormwater management as City streets.

Roadway resurfacing:
Many roadways in the cemetery are in poor condition, suffering from erosion, and in need of resurfacing.  The City is proposing to resurface all of the roadways within the cemetery.  Roadways would be in the same location and same dimensions as the existing roadways.

These improvements will be phased over several years with anticipated work as follows:

  • 2018- Storm sewer installation in south half of cemetery, irrigation system replacement, and pavement resurfacing of all disturbed roads. (Work is now complete)
  • 2019- Storm sewer installation in north half of cemetery and pavement resurfacing of all disturbed roads
  • 2021- Pavement resurfacing of all remaining roads within cemetery

Tree impacts:
Care will be taken to minimize damage to all existing trees in the cemetery.  City Forestry staff will review tree impacts and provide necessary pruning to allow equipment to access roadways.  All work will comply with the City's No Root Cut policy and installation of storm sewer and irrigation main near large trees will be done with boring equipment to minimize root damage.

Public Informational Meeting:
A Public Informational Meeting was held March 16th, 2017.  Concerns were raised about water quality in the Wingra watershed and access to cemetery roads and plots during construction. 

City Parks Division and City Engineering Division are committed to improving water quality in the Wingra watershed and are open to the idea of adding water quality infrastructure in conjunction with City projects where feasible.  City Parks has worked closely with City Engineering division to identify potential opportunities to improve stormwater quality in conjunction with City projects elsewhere in the watershed.  There may be opportunities to improve infiltration in some areas of Forest Hill Cemetery but no large stormwater treatment devices are  currently proposed with this project.

The Cemetery will remain open during construction and road closings will be phased with construction activities.  It is anticipated that there will be closures of individual roads for up to 2 weeks while construction crews install storm sewer.  All trenches will be back filled with gravel outside of active working hours.

If you have questions or comments but are unable to attend the meeting, please contact Corey Stelljes at (608) 266-6518 or