The St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) has been selected to receive $200,000 in state funds through the Illinois Bicycle Path Grant Program which was announced yesterday by State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon). This grant will be used to construct Phase III of the Old Collinsville Road Trail, from Lebanon Avenue to Munie Road and will be a part of the Old Collinsville Road corridor trail development. The goal is to connect to Phases I and II of the Old Collinsville Road Trail, as well as subdivision, parks, schools and businesses within the municipalities of Belleville, Shiloh, Swansea, Fairview Heights and O’Fallon. The Illinois Bicycle Path Grant Program, which is administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, was created in 1990 to provide grants to eligible local governments for projects that develop, rehabilitate or construct new bike paths. This year, the program will fund seven bike path projects across the state totaling more than $800,000.
Phase III plans include a trail running along Old Collinsville Road, approximately 1 mile from Munie Road to Frank Scott Parkway East (FSPE). Old Collinsville Road is a narrow, two-lane urban section of roadway unable to accommodate vehicles as well as individuals wanting to walk or ride their bicycles. The Richland Creek Bikeway has direct access to the MetroBikeLink System, which terminates at Old Collinsville Road, and would connect to the Phase I and II portions of the trail. There are many sidewalks and subdivisions that connect to the Old Collinsville Road corridor, bringing connectivity to the region.
“St. Clair County Transit District has had multiple requests for pedestrian accommodations in this area,” said Herb Simmons, Chair of St. Clair County Transit District’s Board of Trustees. “This grant will help us connect numerous residential areas and commercial developments along Old Collinsville Road as well as Lebanon Avenue, the Richland Creek Bikeway and the rest of the MetroBikeLink System. It would also improve access, mobility and safety for all citizens in this highly populated area of St. Clair County.”
The first section of the MetroBikeLink System opened in 2002 and was comprised of a four-mile trail, running from Southwestern Illinois College to the Swansea MetroLink Station. Since then, the system has expanded to include the Memorial Section, Fairview Heights sections, Orchard Loop Trail Phases I and II and the Shiloh Scott sections, Englemann Park Connector – which all connect back to the original trail. Currently, the MetroBikeLink System runs from the Shiloh-Scott Metro Station to the Fairview Heights Metro Station, providing access to six MetroLink stations and four different communities. Phases I and II of the Old Collinsville Road Trail, featuring approximately 1.7 miles of trail, are expected to be opened in 2022.
Construction of Phase III of the MetroBikeLink System is estimated to cost $755,000. St. Clair County Transit District has already secured a $300,000 construction grant from the Metro East Park and Recreation District with the hopes of securing a $200,000 IDNR Grant applied for earlier this year. It is anticipated that Phase III will be completed in 2022.