Gov. Pat Quinn today announced a grant of $151,000 to help develop a bicycle path in Bolingbrook.
The matching grant is part of the $1 million Bicycle Path Grant Program, dedicated to developing or improving 42 miles of bicycle trails in Illinois.
The Will County Forest Preserve District will receive $151,000 to develop two sections of trail extending north and south from the existing loop trail at Whalon Lake Forest Preserve off Royce Road in Bolingbrook. These trails will connect the Bolingbrook Bridge and trails south of the DuPage River to the Naperville and DuPage County trails north of the river.
“This investment will provide more opportunities for people to get out, get healthy and enjoy what Bolingbrook has to offer,” Quinn said in a statement Thursday. “Bicycling is an ideal activity for young and old, and this path will make biking safer and more convenient.”
Funds for the Bicycle Path Grant Program, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR), are for the acquisition of land or development of facilities for bicycle paths. The Bicycle Path Grant Program was approved by the Illinois General Assembly in 1989 and funding comes from a percentage of motor vehicle title fees. The program provides up to 50 percent of the total approved project cost.
“Illinois’ growing system of multi-use trails provides Illinois children and families with the perfect opportunity to get outside and connect with nature,” DNR Director Marc Miller said. “As these new trails are completed, they will provide an economic boost because communities that offer diverse recreational opportunities become more attractive to new families and businesses.”
A total of 21 applications were initially received, representing a combined request of $2.7 million. Combined with previous years’ funding, DNR has awarded grants that helped develop approximately 982 miles of local government bicycle trails in Illinois since 1990.
“Not only do new recreational opportunities enrich the lives of those living in the surrounding community, supporting the development of desirable green space also has an important economic impact,” Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) said in a press release. “Business owners place a premium on communities that boast a variety of leisure options and outdoor activities. Embracing these types of improvements is an important way we can boost the region’s economy.”
"This bike trail will enrich the quality of life in northern Will County," State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) said. "Cooperation like this between the State of Illinois, the Forest Preserve District of Will County, and the Village of Bolingbrook epitomizes how government should work."
"The development of this bicycle path within the Will County Forest Preserve area will provide people of all ages with increased opportunities for active recreation," State Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) said. "The paths will also allow residents with new opportunities to connect with nature and to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the new sections of trail."
“This new bicycle will path will not only make the Bolingbrook area more connectable, but will also serve as a way more area residents can get out on their bikes for daily exercise or reduce their carbon footprint by biking to work,” State Representative Emily McAsey (D-Lockport) said. “I am encouraged by projects like this that are putting Illinoisans back to work and helping our local economy by providing much-needed jobs for construction workers.”