Bike path 1ROCKFORD -- State Senator Steve Stadelman announced Friday that nearly $6.3 million in Rebuild Illinois funds are headed to Rockford and Loves Park for construction of sidewalks and multi-use paths to improve safety and enhance quality of life.

"Investing in alternative forms of transportation infrastructure is the smart course for the future," Stadelman said. "More and more people want to get outdoors to walk and ride bikes, especially since the pandemic. That's good for our physical and mental health, and any trip not taken by car benefits our environment. Communities that build sidewalks and multi-use paths become more attractive places to work and live with better opportunities for economic growth."

The funds are part of the six-year Rebuild Illinois capital spending bill Stadelman supported  in 2019 and are being awarded through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program. 

  • $3 million to construct 1.7 miles of 10-foot-wide shared-use path in northeast Rockford along the south side of Highcrest Road between Spring Creek Road and Alpine road along with a mile of bike lanes on residential streets from Alpine north to existing on-street bike lanes that lead to Rock Valley College. The project connects the 10-mile Rock River Path path into downtown Rockford with the Perryville Road shared-use path that stretches north Rock Cut State Park and south to Charles Street bike path.
  • $275,000 for preliminary engineering to design sections of a shared-use path to fill gaps in the existing path along the west shore of the Rock River through downtown Rockford from an existing Rails-to-Trails bridge at Race Street north to the Whitman Street bridge and meeting the southern end of the Rock River Path.
  • $3 million in Loves Park to pour sidewalks along both sides of Illinois 251 (North Second Street) and remove existing 8-foot-wide parking lanes to improve traffic flow and provide green space and traffic separation. 

The three local projects were selected from among 213 applications for ITEP grants statewide. Projects were awarded based on their ability to tie into existing transportation networks along with population and poverty considerations. A complete list of grant recipients is available online.