By Mahanth Joishy, Superintendent

You may know that 4151 Nakoosa Trail is a 110,000 square foot City building opened in 2021 that is headquarters for City of Madison Fleet and also Radio Communications, with working garage bays for auto mechanics and radio technicians, a giant parts room, and administrative spaces that we operate 6am-10pm all week, and now weekends as well. Check out this awesome drone footage of the building by C.D. Smith.

You may know that it is the first municipal auto garage in America to achieve LEED GOLD certification from US Green Business Council for its environmental features, including 248 rooftop solar panels (with over 500 more being installed right now by the Madison Green Power program), solar EV charging, a solar heating wall, fleet EV charging, public EV charging, and employee EV charging. It’s where we’ve installed over 1,000 soybean oil tires and run one of the largest fleet biodiesel programs in America. Great job by City Engineering on achieving this certification for Madison.

But it’s much more. Hollywood movies like The Shining and other haunted house horror movies depict buildings as living, breathing organisms… that’s what Nakoosa Trail is too.

What makes an auto garage special anyway?

Front facade of Fleet building at 4151 Nakoosa Trail

This one is an elite educational institution, with a constant stream of outstanding local high school and technical college apprentices working on data analysis, supply chain logistics, and hands-on mechanical work side by side with Fleet employees, year-round. The building is a celebration of all City government, as every City agency is deeply involved in partnering with Fleet and Radio Communications on vehicle and equipment operations, acquisitions, fueling, and maintenance. Beyond that, it’s a celebration of the City community itself.

Nakoosa Trail is a busy early voting and voting location for every election, and will continue to be. In fact this is where I perform the sacred duty to vote. It is the main space for meetings and negotiations with municipal labor unions and employee associations including Teamsters, Local 236, Police, Fire, and others. It’s an employee training center, featuring classes on defensive driving for City drivers and other topics. It’s a well-appointed break room for any City employee. It is prepped to be a backup Emergency Operations Center (EOC) for the City response, as needed. As mentioned it’s a public EV charging location.

Angela Puerta performs music at the Nakoosa Trail garage open house
The City's own Angela Puerta

 At the ribbon cutting in June 2021, Nakoosa Trail opened its doors to the Madison public and beyond as a booming party venue featuring 4 live local bands, a food hall featuring 3 local food carts, a 1960s antique Madison fire truck next to North America’s very first operational electric fire truck in action with MFD and manufactured here in Wisconsin by Pierce, electric vehicle ride and drives, a hackathon, tours, a childrens’ mock election by Clerk’s Office, welcome remarks by Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway; and 300 members of the public in attendance.

Invitation to the Nakoosa Trail Grand Opening Celebration

Speaking of tours, Nakoosa Trail is partly, and somewhat unexpectedly, an auto repair museum giving a steady stream of tours to a nationwide audience because of its special nature. Here is just a small sample of government officials, educational institutions, and others who have been given detailed personal tours since the opening:

Governor Tony Evers with Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and City of Madison staff
Governor Evers chose Nakoosa in April to announce Wisconsin's first-ever clean energy plan.

Governor Tony Evers

Lt. Governor Mandela Barnes

Former Mayor Paul Soglin

Former Mayor Susan J. M. Bauman

City of Kafining, the Gambia, West Africa

WISDOT Secretary Craig Thompson

Wisconsin State Patrol

Wisconsin Public Service Commission

Wisconsin Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy

Wisconsin Office of Energy Innovation

Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum

Dane County Office of Sustainability

South Carolina Department of Education

“Fabulous Farm Babe” Pam Jahnke


Alliant Energy


UW-Madison Transport

UW-Madison students

City of Madison Wanda Fullmore interns

City of Madison AASPIRE interns

Madison College students and staff

Madison Metropolitan School District HQ

LaFollette High School students and staff

East High School students and staff

West High School students and staff

Shabazz High School students and staff

Memorial High School students and staff

Wisconsin State Journal

Capital Times

All Madison TV stations

National Biodiesel Board

Wisconsin Soybean Marketing Board

City of Ames, Iowa

City of Skokie, Illinois

City of Middleton

City of Sun Prairie

City of Milwaukee

City of Racine

City of Verona

City of Fitchburg

City of Stoughton

City of Monona

Wisconsin Clean Cities Coalition

United States Green Business Council


RENEW Wisconsin

Ozinga Energy


CMD Alternative Energy Solutions

REG Iowa

Optimus Technologies

Inertial Electric

Solar Forma

EV Energy Group

Most importantly of all, the essential City employees from two divisions who work at Nakoosa Trail have never stopped (digitally) punching in on the clock physically, to service our customer departments day in and day out, days nights and weekends, with no break in service and no dip in our detailed daily quality metrics despite a multi-year, raging pandemic. Most of us are pretty friendly… :)

If you haven’t yet, you really ought to come by and say hi to Nakoosa Trail.

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Fleet Service and a link back to the original post.

Category: Our Team