Barrington’s Hart Road Path Improvement grant worth $800,000
Tim Tanner (left) and Phil Carter, both of Round Lake, rides their bikes on the unpaved portion of the Millennium Trail in Round Lake. | Thomas Delany Jr.~Sun-Times Media
BARRINGTON — A statewide investment of nearly $50 million was announced last week to fund community transportation projects across Illinois, including a nearly $800,000 project in Barrington.
The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, announced by Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider, has earmarked $798,880 for the Hart Road Path Improvements. The project involves widening the sidewalk along Hart Road near Barrington High School from about five feet to about nine feet.
“We’re very excited to receive this grant,” said Greg Summers, director of engineering and building for the Village of Barrington. “It’s going to go from a sidewalk to a multi-use trail.”
Summers reported that the trail will stretch from the southeast corner of Main Street and Hart Road near the high school to the southwest corner of the high school property, including the crossing at Hart Road leading to the nearby corporate offices. On the east side of Hart Road, the path would run north to connect to the Field of Dreams bike path.
“It will be a tremendous benefit to the general public, and the high school in particular,” said Summers, explaining that the path also will provide a safer walkway for students.
“Right now, they walk on the shoulder of the road,” he said. “This will give them a dedicated path.”
Summers said the grant also will fund an intersection improvement at Route 14 and Hart Road. The improvement is set to include a multi-use trail that would connect to the sidewalk at Cumnar Avenue.
Summers added that there are currently three paths on the west side of the village that all dead-end. This project also is designed to tie those paths together.
“It starts to create a real system,” Summers said. “It’s great for the residents and businesses in the community.”
Summers said the village estimates that there are more residents walking and biking around Barrington as a means of alternative transportation.
“It’s been a high priority for the village,” he said.
Summers said it typically takes two to three years to build these trails.
“We’re estimating 2015,” he said when asked about a completion date.
The Lake County Forest Preserve District also received $1.9 million from the state program. That grant will fund the Millennium Trail Rollins Road Bike Path Underpass project, located at Rollins Road, just west of Route 45, Grayslake.
The trail tunnel will connect Rollins Savanna and Fourth Lake Forest Preserves and provide an extension of the Millennium Trail in north-central Lake County, forest preserve officials said.
When the underpass is complete, Millennium Trail users will be able to travel between four connected preserves — Rollins Savanna, Fourth Lake, Bonner Farm and McDonald Woods — and to several neighboring communities and local destinations, including the Lindenhurst Park District, Grayslake North High School, College of Lake County, Metra stations, and various residential and business districts.
Construction of the underpass is scheduled to begin later this spring, with completion anticipated sometime in 2014.
The 35-mile Millennium Trail will connect central, western and northern Lake County communities and forest preserves. It will eventually link to the northern section of the Des Plaines River Trail in Wadsworth.
Today, more than 20 miles are complete and open to hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers.
A 9.25-mile section from Lakewood Forest Preserve north to Singing Hills Forest Preserve is open to equestrians. The Millennium Trail is part of the proposed Grand Illinois Trail which one day will link multiple trails between Chicago and Galena.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has identified the Millennium Trail as a Priority Greenway. The trail is also part of the Lake County Division of Transportation’s Year 2020 Transportation Priority Plan.