Two Will County communities were announced last week as beneficiaries of the latest round of grants from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program.
The Illinois Department of Transportation awarded about $30.7 million to be split among 33 projects throughout the state.
The village of Channahon was approved for $682,480 toward its planned Bridge Street multi-use path that will go over the DuPage River and the Illinois & Michigan Canal.
Upon completion, it’s expected the path will bring bike and pedestrian traffic across the river, connecting neighborhoods separated by the body of water and improving bike and pedestrian traffic flow to Minooka Community High School’s south campus.
“This project goes a long way toward enhancing our pathway system,” Channahon Village Administrator Tom Durkin said.
Receiving the award validates the project as one worth completing, Durkin said.
The total length of the path will be 4,705 feet, with eastern and western segments at 1,490 feet each. The grant will go toward those portions.
The remaining portion of the project, estimated at $2.4 million, has not yet been funded.
Due to the topography of the river area, it will require more extensive construction to support the pathway, Durkin said. The village will explore all options, including federal grant applications, to fund the remainder of the project.
Durkin said his goal is for construction to start in 2017 or early 2018, although he noted a conservative construction deadline of spring 2019 was placed on the grant application.
In the meantime, Durkin said the village is proposing adding bike lanes to the existing Bridge Street roadway and reducing the speed limit, which will be signified by added signage.
The village of Romeoville also will receive $296,700 to go toward its proposed Metra station. Mayor John Noak said the funds will help make the site more user-friendly.
The contract for the station will go through IDOT and construction may begin in summer or fall of 2017, Noak said.
The grant will be used to complete a path for walking and biking south of 135th Street and help pay for the installation of lighting along the multi-use path, a nearby access road, sidewalks, platforms and a warming shelter, according to a news release from the village.
According to a news release from IDOT, the ITEP awards focus on improving bike and pedestrian travel, as well as other surface transportation improvements that promote alternative travel options.