St Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) today celebrated the opening of the St. Ellen Park Trail – a $265,000 project that features an approximately one-mile long and 10-foot-wide paved path, extending east from Old Collinsville Road, at Ashland Ave., to Hartman Lane in O’Fallon, Ill., and connecting nearby households and businesses to St. Ellen Park. Representatives from SCCTD, the City of O’Fallon and Township of Caseyville, gathered along with a host of other local community leaders, to make brief remarks and salute the local government partnerships credited with making this project a reality before exploring the trail.

The new St. Ellen Park Trail allows for easier access to St. Ellen Park, a formerly abandoned coal strip mine transformed in 1990 by St. Clair County into a 200-acre space, featuring walking trails, fishing and picnic pavilions. The newest segment consists of a half-mile constructed trail, extending east from Old Collinsville Road to St. Ellen Mine Rd – near the entrance of  St. Ellen Park – that seamlessly connects to a fully renovated, 20-year-old, existing half-mile section previously operated by the City of O’Fallon. The trail provides residents with greater access to St. Ellen Park, Joseph Arthur Middle School, Central Elementary School and hundreds of nearby households.

This project was made possible thanks to partnerships between St. Clair County Transit District, the City of O’Fallon and the Caseyville Township, which provided the no-cost easement necessary for St. Clair County Transit District to construct this trail. TWM, Inc., was responsible for the design and engineering of the project. Hank’s Excavating and Landscaping, Inc. completed the construction, which ranged from the initial grading to the finished pavement. The project got underway in March of 2021 and was completed under budget and ahead of schedule.

“The St. Ellen Park Trail demonstrates the effectiveness and efficiency possible when local governments work together for the common good of area residents,” commented Ken Sharkey, managing director of St. Clair County Transit District during his remarks. “All involved in making this project come to fruition should be proud. This is a fantastic community amenity that will be enjoyed for many years to come.”