The Illinois Department of Transportation recently announced that nearly $106 million has been awarded through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program to expand travel options and enhance quality of life in communities throughout the state. The projects selected include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification and other projects designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level.
The Champaign County Forest Preserve District received $1,228,320 to complete an additional 1.5 miles of the Kickapoo Rail Trail in Champaign County. This section of the rail trail will run through Ogden and extend to the county line between Champaign County and Vermilion County. The project is part of a larger trail network and is a vital section which will eventually connect Champaign and Vermilion Counties.
The Urbana Park District received $852,625 for The Broadway Avenue Multiuse Path and Pedestrian Bridge project. The ten-foot wide path replaces a four-foot sidewalk and provides transportation, safety, and connectivity improvements along the southeastern border of Crystal Lake Park.
The Urbana Park District Grant covers 100% of the cost of the project (state portion and local match) because of a high need. The project also incorporates Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. This project completes a project called out in five local transportation plans and promotes increased equity for lower income, and non-driving populations. “We are grateful for this state grant. The grant will complete a project and help our park become accessible to more people. Construction of the bridge and trail linkage is critical to the overall future connectivity of Crystal Lake Park,” says Tim Bartlett, Executive Director, Urbana Park District.
Both of these local projects provide safe pedestrian and bicycle transportation opportunities in Champaign County.