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November 2, 2000

Governor Announces Funding for Historic Bridge and Other Projects to Enhance Quality of Life


DELAVAN -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $313,000 grant to the city of Delavan for the rehabilitation and reopening of the historic Third Street bridge.

"The Third Street Bridge is an important part of Delavan and its history," Ryan said. "This bridge was built in the 1870s and moved to Delavan in 1907, and is now on the National Register of Historic Bridges.

"The rehabilitation work will allow the city to reopen the bridge and restore a much needed link between a residential area and the downtown business district."

The project will include Phase I and II engineering, construction engineering, the rehabilitation work, and sidewalks and landscaping. The bridge has been closed to traffic since 1992. The work will facilitate reopening the bridge for vehicular and pedestrian traffic and will also restore the historic significance of the structure. The Third Street Bridge is the oldest known metal truss bridge in Illinois.

In addition to the Third Street Bridge, funding for 18 other projects in west central and northwest Illinois was announced by the Governor. Together, these projects received $9.9 million.

These projects are among 56 projects totaling $38.6 throughout the state that the Governor announced today and among 92 projects totaling $76.7 million announced this week to enhance, promote and protect the environment. They are funded under three related programs administered by the Illinois Departments of Transportation and Natural Resources.

"All of the projects share a common goal which is to make communities more livable and vibrant by developing more natural areas, greenways, wildlife habitat and outdoor spaces through recreational bicycle trails, parklands and alternative transportation facilities," Ryan said.

The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) funds projects that provide transportation options other than traditional highway and mass transit improvements. Typical projects involve bicycle and pedestrian trails that serve commuters, scenic and historic highways, historic transportation structures, transportation museums and landscaping. The program is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation. It is funded from a set-aside of federal highway funds and matched with local or state dollars.

Under Governor Ryan's Administration the transportation enhancement program has funded more than 150 miles of bike trails.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources administers the Illinois bicycle path grant program for local recreational bike paths, and the Open Land Trust (OLT) program that provides grants to help local governments preserve and restore open lands.

The recreational bicycle path grant program was established in 1989 under Ryan's tenure as Lieutenant Governor. Since its inception, more than 709 miles of trails throughout the state have been funded.

The OLT is a $160 million initiative of the Governor's that provides $40 million per year over four years for land purchases and improvements to protect the state's most precious natural resources. It is the largest open space acquisition and preservation program in Illinois' history.

The following projects in west central and northwest Illinois were also approved for funding in FY 2001:

  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources,
    $1,546,000 to construct a 12-mile extension to the Hennepin Canal Bikeway along the canal from IL 92 to the canal mainstem north of Sheffield (IDOT).

  • Jo Daviess County,
    $604,000 to acquire 206 acres at the intersection of US 20 and Powderhouse Hill Road. The property serves as the primary view of Galena and the area landscape. Development will include scenic overlooks, interpretive trials, picnic areas, a parking area, and restoration of the bluff prairie. The site is adjacent to Horseshoe Mound, an IDNR natural area inventory site (IDNR).

  • City of Fairbury,
    $143,100 to construct an additional 1.1 miles to the existing trail through the new community park. The trail will extend east to Prairie Central High School and Indian Creek (IDNR).

  • Dixon Park District,
    $216,000 to construct the 6.8 mile Lowell Trail along various streets within Dixon (IDOT).

  • City of Freeport,
    $400,000 to improve the streetscape along Stephenson Street from Rose Avenue to IL 26; and Galena Avenue from IL 26 to South Street. Includes lighting, sidewalks, and landscaping (IDOT).

  • City of Rock Island,
    $293,000 to acquire five acres along the Mississippi River on the eastern end of the Sylvan Slough Waterfront Development Area. The city will demolish the buildings on the property and create a demonstration and education area (IDNR).

  • Rock Island Forest Preserve District,
    $101,000 to construct 4.5 miles of the Great River Trial (phase II). The project in northern Rock Island County and southern Whiteside County runs along the Mississippi River and the Great River Road (IL 84) (IDNR).

  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources,
    $310,00 for preliminary engineering of a 10 mile bike trail at various locations connecting the Great River Trail, Mississippi Palisade State Park, and the Upper Mississippi River National Refuge near Savanna (IDOT).

  • City of Moline,
    $163,000 to construct the Mill Town Bike Path from Arsenal Bridge south to Mill Town Street, then west to 15th St., and north to the Great River Trail (IDOT).

  • Winnebago County Forest Preserve District,
    $417,000 to acquire 318 acres at two sites within the Sugar River Corridor, which will preserve habitat for endangered animals and birds, and rare plant species. Site enhancement includes restoration of the Swamp White Oak Savanna area, the expansion of wetlands, and a pathway (IDNR).

  • Roscoe Township,
    $47,000 to acquire 1.5 miles (18 acres) of abandoned railroad right of way from McCurry Road on the south to a frontage road parallel to IL 251 north of Rockton Road. The project is an extension to the existing six-mile Stone Bridge Trail system (IDNR).

  • Rock Island County,
    $802,000 to construct a .75-mile bikeway on the American Discovery Trail along the Government Bridge from the Great River Trail in Rock Island to the Riverfront Trail in Iowa (IDOT).

  • City of Savanna,
    $1,532,000 to construct a 2.9-mile extension of the Great River Trail along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad from Chicago Avenue in Savanna to Franklin Stransky Airport. Also includes a pedestrian overpass. (IDOT)

  • Winnebago County Forest Preserve District,
    $107,800 to construct a .9-mile asphalt path to link the existing Bauer Bridge Trail (part of the Grand Illinois Trail) with the district's headquarters (IDNR).

  • Winnebago County Highway Department,
    $1,742,000 to construct 3.8 miles of Perryville Path-Southwest Connection along Bell School Road from Cherry Valley Path at Vandiver Rd. in Cherry Valley to Perryville Road and Argus Drive. Also includes a pedestrian overpass. (IDOT).

  • Winnebago County Highway Department,
    $200,000 to rehabilitate 37 bridges along the 28-mile Pecatonica Prairie Path. The trail is located on an abandoned railroad right of way between Rockford and Freeport and is an important segment of the Grand Illinois Trail (IDNR).

  • McLean County,
    $255,000 for phase I engineering of a 17.6-mile bikeway along Historic Route 66 from McLean to Towanda (IDOT).

  • City of East Peoria,
    $734,000 to construct a .28-mile Riverside Park Trailhead on Riverside Drive over the Illinois River near the Robert Michel Bridge. Project includes lighting, landscaping, and sidewalks. (IDOT)


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