RAISE grant could be catalyst for revitalization of the Englewood community

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Chicago Construction News staff writer

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A $20 million federal grant will fund the Englewood Nature Trail — a project to convert a 1.75-mile abandoned railway corridor into a grade-separated multiuse path for walking and biking in Englewood.

Funding will be used for the detailed design and construction of the trail, which is slated to run east-west along an elevated berm, crossing 26 viaducts and ending on the east near Wallace Street and on the west near Hoyne Avenue.

“Englewood and West Englewood need bold catalytic development. As the network of community stakeholders and residents, we’ve been working to ensure that Englewood’s culture and identity are baked into this project and that it is a source of pride for the community,” said Anton Seals Jr., executive director of Grow Greater Englewood.

“We’re grateful for this federal investment and look forward to building a space where neighbors can find economic opportunities, safe and environmentally sustainable places, and access to more healthy foods.

The long-term goals for the trail include connecting the surrounding area with safe and inviting park space and multiuse paths.

“This equity-focused investment in the Englewood community will serve as a major catalyst for revitalization,” said Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot. “The Englewood Nature Trail is both a physical connector and pathway to community connectivity and opportunity. The trail, which was importantly developed as part of a community-led process, will benefit Englewood residents for years to come.”

This U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded the cash through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for infrastructure and transportation projects expected to have significant local or regional impact.

“I’m proud that the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is at work benefitting Illinoisans by repairing and enhancing our infrastructure,” Duckworth said. “This infusion of federal funding will help support this important project for Chicago and the Englewood community. I look forward to continuing to support Illinois’s communities receiving much-needed federal resources.”

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