SPRINGFIELD – Gov. George H. Ryan today announced $3 million in grants to communities to help develop 22 bicycle paths.
“These grants will help fund more than 50 miles of bicycle trails in towns throughout Illinois, providing a safe place for families to ride,” the Governor said. “Many communities could not afford to create these trails without the state’s help.”
During his tenure, Governor Ryan has provided, through a number of grant programs, funding for 1,400 miles of trails, 40 percent more in three years than in the previous 10 years.
Projects receiving funding this year include development of former railroad rights-of-way, expansion of the Grand Illinois Trail, links between existing trails and renovation of others.
The grant program reimburses local governments for half the cost to develop a trail, up to a maximum of $200,000.
“Each year the requests for grant assistance greatly outpace available funding. This year is no exception,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Brent Manning. “Forty communities applied seeking nearly $6 million.” DNR oversees the grant program.
This year’s grant recipients include:
Village of Bloomingdale, $198,500, to construct a .76-mile multi-purpose recreational trail linkage between the Lake Street (Springbrook Reservoir) to the east and the Meacham Grove Forest Preserve to the west. The proposed linkage is a segment of the North Central DuPage Regional Trail. (Local contact: Michael Marchi, (630) 671-5691).
Boone County Conservation District, $21,400, to renovate an 8.8-mile section of trail on the more than 14-mile Long Prairie Trail between Illinois Route 76 and the Boone/McHenry county line. The project will include pavement replacement, overlay and erosion control along the trail. (Local contact: Dan Kane, (815) 547-7935).
Chicago Department of Transportation, $200,000, to construct .5 miles of multi-use paved bike path extending the Chicago Park District North Channel Trail in River and Ronan Parks from Argyle Avenue to Francisco Avenue. Other project elements include riverbank landscaping, signage, lighting and new entryway at Francisco Avenue. (Local contact: Luann Hamilton, (312) 744-1987).
Chicago Park District, $67,500, to implement trail signage improvements along 18 miles of the LakeShore Trail to identify local amenities. Amenities identified via signage include access points to the trail from neighborhoods, location of on street bikeways, parks, cultural attractions and emergency information. (Local contact: Andrea Adams, (312) 742-4332).
Chicago Park District, $189,600, to increase and improve access to the Lakefront Trail in Lincoln Park from Lawrence Avenue to Wilson Avenue. Improvements to the .5-mile section includes reconstruction of trail intersection, widening current path to 14 feet and new lighting. (Local contact: Andrea Adams, (312) 742-4332).
Crystal Lake Park District, $41,500, install a new .2-mile 10 ft. wide asphalt path through Sterling Meadows Park that connects to two existing bike trails - the 1-mile Willows Edge Bike Trail and the 1.95-mile Winding Creek Bike Trail. The park district’s trail system has been designed to connect to several schools and parks within Crystal Lake. (Local contact: Ann Viger, (815) 459-0680).
City of Evanston, $60,000, to renovate approximately .57 miles of existing deteriorated bike path within Harbert Park between Dempster Street and Main Street. The 10 ft. wide trail will be asphalt with painted centerline striping and directional arrows for bike traffic. (Local contact: Jessica Bullock, (847) 448-8067).
Fox Valley Park District, $58,500, to upgrade 1.2 miles of existing limestone trail to a 10 ft. wide asphalt surface on the eastern section of the V.L. Gilman National Trail in Kane County. Project components also include construction of two bridges and a parking lot. The trail is being improved to accommodate diverse trail users, enhance trail safety and expand the trail season. (Local contact: Robert Vaughan, (630) 897-0516).
City of Galesburg, $30,000, to develop an 8 ft. wide crushed stone aggregate multi-purpose trail extension to the existing 1.57-mile trail system at the west end of the Lake Story Recreational Area. The new trail will connect to a new pedestrian bridge over the spillway that the city installed. (Local contact: Larry Cox, (309) 345-3624).
Village of Glen Carbon, $200,000, to construct a 1.25-mile 10 ft. wide chip and oil surface trail extension to the existing Heritage Trail from the east trail head along the old Illinois Central Railroad right-of -way to a point just east of Silver Creek. The existing Heritage Trail is 6.75 miles. (Local contact: Charles Juneau, (618) 659-0900).
Village of Hartford, $89,600, to develop a .7-mile paved path spur connector and trailhead that connects the Village to the newly constructed Confluence Bikeway in Madison County. The trailhead will include reconstruction of parking lot, restrooms, drinking fountain, shelter, informational signage and traffic control signal.
(Local contact: Deanna Barnes, (618) 251-2681).
Lake County Department of Transportation, $100,800, to construct a bicycle/pedestrian tunnel under Fairfield Road just north of Ivanhoe Road in Wauconda as part of the North Lakewood section of the Millennium Trail. This grant represents 50 percent of the county’s local match for a Federal Enhancement grant from IDOT.
(Local contact: Bruce Christensen, (847) 377-7455).
Lake County Forest Preserve District, $200,000, to develop a 2.8-mile crushed stone bike trail between the existing portion of the Millennium Trail at Fairfield Road in Lakewood Forest Preserve and Gossell Road to the north. Two additional feeder trails totaling .9 miles will also be constructed to link to adjacent neighborhoods. The project is an important segment of the Grand Illinois Trail. (Local contact: Michael Fenelon, (847) 968-3339).
Madison County Transit District, $200,000, to construct Phase I of the Quercus Grove Trail commencing in proximity to the MCT Edwardsville Station in downtown Edwardsville and extending to its northern terminus at Hazel Drive. This 2.5-mile Phase I of the Quercus Grove Trail project extends the Madison County Trail System northeast towards Worden. (Local contact: Jerry Kane, (618) 874-7433).
Village of Matteson, $64,700, to complete the last unbuilt section of the Preservation Pathway by constructing a .45-mile bituminous pathway that connects the Old Plank Trail, at the south, to the Cook County Forest Preserve Trail System on the north side of Vollmer Road. The project also includes a bridge over Butterfield Creek
(Local contact: Vince Laoang, (708) 283-4941).
McHenry County Conservation District, $200,000, project involves the development of 3.2 miles of 10 ft. wide crushed aggregate bicycle/hiking path between the towns of Union and Marengo. The alignment is along a rail line, a portion of the 17-mile segment purchased by the District several years ago. (Local contact: John Kremer, (815) 338-6223).
City of Mt. Sterling, $200,000, to construct a 1.4-mile concrete multi-recreational trail beginning at Clark Park and terminating at Mt. Sterling Lake. The path will connect two important recreational facilities in the community and allow children to travel safely to school and the parks. (Local contact: Wendy McDonald, (217) 224-8171).
City of Naperville, $92,900, to develop a 1.5-mile shared-use path known as the DuPage River Trail-Segment 3 in Naperville along the West Branch of the DuPage River from 87th Street to 75th Street. (Local contact: Robert Kozurek, (630) 420-6111).
City of Ottawa, $185,000, to develop the Fox River Aqueduct Trailhead on the I & M Canal in Ottawa by constructing 605 linear feet of connecting trail, a parking area, an accessible ramp connecting the existing Ottawa riverwalk and other amenities to the I & M Canal Trail. Other elements include a restroom facility, two informational kiosks, lighting, benches, bike racks, trash receptacles and landscaping.
(Local contact: Nora Fesco-Ballerine, (815) 875-3396).
Village of Rantoul, $200,000, to develop a 1.65-mile bituminous bike path which will connect to 1.71 of existing pathway. When completed the Rantoul Bike Path System will connect numerous residences, schools and commercial areas with recreation facilities on the former Chanute Air Force Base. (Local contact: Gary Adams, (217) 893-1661).
Washington Park District, $200,000, to construct approximately 3 miles of 10 ft. wide asphalt trail along Wilmore Road and a newly acquired easement from the local high school west to Cummings Avenue and Cherry Shopping Center. (Local contact: David Peeks, (309) 444-9413).
Will County Forest Preserve District, $200,000, to develop Phase II of the Wauponsee Glacial Trail by constructing 5.5 miles of 12 ft. wide crushed limestone trail. The proposed trail will connect the Forest Preserve District’s Visitor Information, Education and Administration Center to the Village of Manhattan, a Metra commuter station and Manhattan’s business district. (Local contact: Marcello DeMauro, (815) 727-8700).