City officials have described the project as a vital link in the network of local and regional bike paths.
The Yorkville City Council recently signed-off on their part of a construction and maintenance agreement with Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroad for grade crossing improvements as part of the project.
The city has been in the planning stages of a 3.05-mile long multi-use recreational asphalt path on the east side of Kennedy Road for the past several years.
The path will run from Route 47 to Mill Road through residential and rural areas and connect with other regional trails throughout the Fox Valley.
“We have every intention to begin the project this year,” said Eric Dhuse, Yorkville director of Public Works.
The city in 2010 accepted a $1.3 million Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant to fund 80 percent of the trail.
The City Council accepted the grant on the condition that the city’s 20 percent portion of the cost – $375,000 – was privately raised.
“This project has been a labor of love for our community,” said Lynn Dubajic, treasurer of the Push for the Path organization.
Dubajic’s friend, 46-year old Darlene McCue, was killed in 2009 while riding her bicycle on Kennedy Road.
“We were both in similar situations in our lives – we had lost our spouses and were very close,” Dubajic said. “Darlene positively impacted a lot of lives. She was a ray of sunshine in a lot of people’s lives.”
Dubajic said the group decided to privately raise the funds to eliminate concerns that the city would have to use taxpayer money.
“The fundraising has been driven by the McCue family and in the memory of a special person,” she said.
The city received $50,000 in Kendall County Transportation Alternatives Program funds as well for the trail.
Village officials said the one remaining hurdle for the project is having BNSF give their approval of the agreement.
“It’s nice to see the project coming to a point where construction can begin,” said Brad Sanderson, vice president/principal of Sugar Grove-based Engineering Enterprises, Inc., the engineering firm that is heading the project for Yorkville.
Sanderson said within the limits of the proposed Kennedy Road multi-use path is a Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad crossing.
“Improvements to the crossing, including widening of the crossing surface at the tracks and the construction of pedestrian gates are necessary to promote the safety of path patrons,” Sanderson said.
Sanderson said the grade crossing improvements will be constructed by BNSF. However, the city will be responsible for the expense of the improvements as well as future inspection and maintenance costs.
He said the crossing and pedestrian gates are estimated to cost $300,000 to $400,000 and were part of the original project budget.
“The last remaining item to be completed prior to letting the project is the approval of the BNSF agreement,” the engineer said. “We are hoping for a short turnaround. The original agreement came from BNSF.”
He said the agreement needs to be approved by BNSF by Friday in order for the city to meet the Illinois Department of Transportation‘s April bid letting deadline.
The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved an order which specifies details of the Kennedy Road path which runs north and south.
“The path would be built parallel to and approximately 12 feet east of the road. BNSF will extend the concrete panels of the crossing east to align with and serve as the path over the tracks. Gates with a flashing light will be installed on both approaches to the path and will activate with the vehicular crossing gates,” according to the order.
Sanderson said the path will provide a vital link between the Mill Road bike path, Autumn Creek and Grande Reserve elementary schools, Steven G. Bridge Park, commercial shopping and the Route 47 trail to downtown Yorkville.
The path will provide access to the network of regional bike paths such as the Virgil Gilman bike trail, the Fox River trails and various spurs of the Illinois Prairie Path and Great Western trails as well.
Sanderson anticipates a majority of the construction will be done this year.
“If we are able to meet the April letting, we would anticipate starting construction in July. The majority of the work would be done by November of this year. The rest of the project will be wrapped up in 2018,” Sanderson said.
By: Linda Girardi
For the full article: Here
News / Media
- Yorkville bike path work could begin this year
- Yorkville trail has special meaning for family of woman killed while biking
- ‘Big moment’ coming for Yorkville biking/walking path along Kennedy Road
- Kendall County Board Gives $50,000 to Yorkville for Construction of Kennedy Rd. Bike Path
- Funding coming together for Yorkville path project
P.O. Box 705
Yorkville, IL 60560