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October 30, 2000

Governor Ryan Awards $1.9 Million Grant for Centennial Trail

LYONS -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced a $1.9 million grant to the Cook County Forest Preserve District to construct a portion of the Centennial Bike Trail along the Illinois and Michigan National Heritage Corridor between Lemont and Lyons.

"Enhancing the quality of life for Illinois citizens is a high priority for me, and this project does just that," Governor Ryan said. "When this project is completed, people will have a safe and enjoyable recreational trail along the Illinois and Michigan National Heritage Corridor."

The Centennial Bike Trail weaves between three historic Illinois waterways within the National Heritage Corridor-the Des Plaines River, the Illinois & Michigan Canal, and the Sanitary and Ship Canal. Because the trail will follow these active transportation systems it will provide numerous benefits linking workplaces, industries, mass transit stations, historic sites, cultural centers, parks, and forest preserves throughout the communities.

The project will include Phase I engineering for the entire 19-mile Centennial Bike Trail, and Phase II engineering and construction of the portion of the bike trail which will be funded by the $1.9 million grant. The project also includes construction of pedestrian overpasses and signs. The Forest Preserve District will determine what portion of the bike trail is constructed first.

In addition to the Centennial Trail, funding for five other projects in the area was awarded by the Governor. Together, these projects received $5.1 million.

Governor Ryan is awarding grants for 35 projects totaling $37.9 million throughout the Chicago metro and Northeastern Illinois area as part of the Open Land Trust, state bicycle path grant and Illinois Transportation Enhancement programs.

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) administers the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), a federally funded program providing bike paths, pedestrian trails and other projects that offer transportation options other than traditional highway and mass transit. It is funded from a set-aside of federal highway funds and matched with local or state dollars.

Under Gov. 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 Gov. 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 Brookfield, Oak Brook, Wheaton, and Villa Park were also approved for funding in FY 2001:

  • Village of Brookfield,
    $97,000 for rehabilitation of the historic train depot at Brookfield and Forest Avenues for continued use as a museum. (IDOT)

  • Village of Oak Brook,
    $778,000 for construction of nearly one mile of the 31st Street Bike Path from Concord Drive to Jorie Boulevard. (IDOT)

  • Village of Villa Park,
    $200,000 to upgrade the existing 1.02 mile Great Western Trail between Addison Road and Villa Avenue to an asphalt surface. Security lighting will also be installed. (IDNR)

  • Wheaton Park District,
    $200,000 to construct a bridge over the Union Pacific RR which will connect the Illinois Prairie Path to the DuPage County Fairgrounds, Graf Park, and Monroe Middle School. (IDNR)

  • Wheaton Park District,
    $1.88 million to construct a pedestrian overpass on Manchester Road from Lincoln Marsh/Winfield Creek Greenway over the Union Pacific Railroad in Wheaton. (IDOT)


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