The St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) announced it has been awarded $300,000 through the Metro East Park and Recreation District’s Park and Trail Grant Matching Program for Phase II of the Fairview Heights – Swansea Trail. This phase of the project features a 1.5-mile bike and pedestrian off road pathway that will begin at SCCTD’s MetroBikeLink Trail and extend along the west side of Sullivan Drive to Frank Scott Parkway in Fairview Heights and include a separate pedestrian bridge over the MetroLink tracks – connecting 2,000 homes in Fairview Heights and Swansea to the trail system.
The first phase of the of the Fairview Heights – Swansea Trail is also underway, featuring a one-fifth of a mile off road trail segment from the traffic signal at the intersection of Illinois Route 161 and Sullivan Drive in Belleville to the MetroBikeLink where Phase II begins. When work is completed on both phases, the Fairview Heights – Swansea Trail will be a 1.7-mile-long bike and pedestrian pathway that connects to the 14 continues miles of trails in Southwestern Illinois known as the MetroBikeLink System, which links users to six Metro Transit Centers.
The Fairview Heights – Swansea Trail is a $3.1 million dollar investment in the local community. TWM is spearheading the engineering and design phase of the project in its entirety, which is set to be competed in the Fall of 2023. The construction phase will follow and is expected to be completed in 2024.
“We are grateful for the grant funding received from the Metro East Park and Recreation District and look forward to next steps in the trail development process,” commented Ken Sharkey, managing director of St. Clair County Transit District. “This project is a key connector in the ever-evolving MetroBikeLink System, which has proven to be a really great amenity for local communities.”
The MetroBikeLink System opened in 2002 and was comprised of a four-mile trail, extending from Southwestern Illinois College to the Swansea MetroLink Station. Since then, the system has expanded to include the Memorial, Fairview Heights and Shiloh Scott sections for a total of 14 miles of trail adjacent to the MetroLink light rail tracks. Additional trails have been built by SCCTD to connect to this main artery, including SCCTD Orchard Loop Trail Phases I and II, the Engelmann Park Connector and the Old Collinsville Road Trail (currently under construction), totaling another eight miles of SCCTD connected trails. These accessible pathways, along with the connecting trails from other municipalities, will combine to provide over 35 miles of connected trails in St. Clair County.