Chicago Construction News staff writer
Grants totaling more than $2.1 million will help communities develop and improve 13 local bike path projects across Illinois.
“Bicycle path projects are excellent drivers of job creation and economic development, while also increasing road safety for bicyclists,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a statement. “Illinois’ beautiful natural landscape should be accessible and safe for all to enjoy, and I’m pleased that projects like this help make that goal a reality.”
The funding program is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), from a percentage of the motor vehicle title fees providing a maximum grant award of $200,000 per project for development projects, with no maximum grant award limit for land acquisition projects.
Funds are for acquisition, construction, and rehabilitation of public off-road, non-motorized bicycle paths and directly related facilities, such as a drinking water and restrooms, in Illinois.
“The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is pleased to provide funding to help local communities encourage families and individuals to get outside, enjoy the outdoors, and reduce their carbon footprint with more biking and less driving,” said IDNR Director Natalie Phelps Finnie.
This year’s grants go to:
Bourbonnais Township Park District, Perry Farm Multi-Use Trail Extension – $200,000
- provide a safe trail connection to businesses and attractions of West Bradley and South Bourbonnais and connect non-motorized traffic in the area to more than 50 miles of the Riverfront Trail Bike Path, which stretches from Kankakee River State Park, past Kankakee Community College to Splash Valley Aquatic Center.
Carol Stream Park District, Veterans Park Bike Trail – $200,000
- build two retaining walls along a 2,230-foot-long, eight-foot-wide trail with a bituminous concrete surface to contain fill slopes from extending into an adjacent detention pond.
Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Lake of the Woods Bike Path Renovation – $100,000
renovation of a half mile of existing asphalt path and the addition of signage. The path is 10 feet wide and considered multi-use – includes repairing and remilling the existing asphalt with a new asphalt surface.
Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Tinley Creek Trail Improvements, Black Spur – $117,500
- Project includes repairs on the one-mile black connector trail, a critical spur connecting to the 9.1-mile Tinley Creek Red Trail Loop. Pavement is currently distressed with extensive alligator cracking, surface raveling, and bumps caused by tree roots, creating an increasingly unsafe surface for all users with trip hazards and reduced friction when wet.
- Proposed work includes minor improvements to the trail access parking area at Catalina Grove by resurfacing the pavement and installing upgraded disabled-accessible curb ramps and detectable warnings.
Freeport Park District, Krape Park Bike Path Project – $200,000
- Proposed project is a 10-foot-wide bike path that runs just over a half mile, winding along the beautiful Yellow Creek and offering natural connections to local and regional bike paths throughout the area. it includes a small parking area for trail users.
Heartland Community College, Birky Pond Bike Path Constitution Trail Continuation – $200,000
- Upgrades on the Birky Pond Bike Path on Heartland Community College’s campus in Normal.
Madison County Mass Transit District, Chain of Rocks Shared Use Path – $200,000
- Create a one-mile trail beginning at Mitchell Elementary School and running east to Liberty Place along the south side of Chain of Rocks Road.
McHenry County Conservation District, Prairie Trail Renovation Project – $200,000
- Proposal is to renovate a section of the Prairie Trail, an existing asphalt bicycle path that is more than 20 years old between Hillside Road and Edgewood Road, which is about 1.25 miles long. The proposed project includes resurfacing the 10-foot-wide asphalt trail, restoring the turf shoulders to achieve positive drainage, and implementing detectable warnings at intersections.
Mount Prospect Park District, Commonwealth Edison Trail – $137,500
- Proposed improvements include accessible entry points, seating areas and signage. Beginning at Algonquin Road, these proposed improvements are for a three-quarter-mile portion of the trail extending to Linneman Road.
Rockford Park District, Sports Core Recreation Path Rehabilitation – $146,000
- Proposed project includes replacement of the one-mile-long Sports Core Recreation Path to improve access for maintenance. Removing and replacing the path will allow for repairs to improve drainage. Four bridges along the path will be treated to remove rust to prevent loss. It is anticipated that replacing the curved portion of the path will reduce safety concerns related to maintenance.
St. Clair County Transit District, MetroBikeLink Extension – $200,000
- Five-mile expansion of St. Clair County’s light rail line from Shiloh-Scott Station to MidAmerica St. Louis Airport in Mascoutah, which runs adjacent to the light rail line, adding three miles to the growing trail system.
Village of Berkeley, Berkely Park Bike Path Improvement – $60,000
- Project will extend into the Illinois Prairie Path and highlight a vital component of the Berkeley Park identity while increasing its significance within the park as an anchor to develop future improvements around. This project is intended to be a first step toward realizing a five-year plan toward the park’s complete reimagining.
Village of Glen Carbon, Glen Carbon Road Shared Use Path, Phase II – $200,000
- The Village of Glen Carbon will extend the shared use path one-third mile northwest from Lakewood Drive to Mark Trail Drive. Future phases will extend to Illinois 159, totaling one mile of off-road share use path.