Algonquin to build new multi-use path

ALGONQUIN – The village of Algonquin recently applied for a state grant to fund a new multi-use path project, and officials have said there are similar projects slated for the future.

The project, which will cost about $307,000, includes the construction of a path that will be about 10 feet wide and 3,300 feet long, Public Works Director Bob Mitchard said. The path will run along Highland Avenue from Tanglewood Drive to Haegers Bend in Barrington Hills, he said, adding that the two municipalities are working cooperatively on the project.

"It will amend our existing bike path system in that area," he explained. "It will extend it, improve access to our Presidential Park facilities, and link to some of the neighborhoods in the area."

The state grant, administered by the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, is meant to cover a majority – 80 percent – of the total project cost, but the village will still be responsible for about $80,500.

In addition to the new multi-use path, the village has put on the docket a project to revamp Highland Avenue. While on the same set of construction plans, the Highland Avenue project will benefit partially from a different funding source, namely the McHenry County Council of Mayors Surface Transportation Program. The program will cover about $1.5 million of the project's total cost while roughly $1.2 million will come from local funding, according to information from Mitchard.

The renovation will include widening the road from 22 feet to 28 feet, adding new curbing and gutters, plus an enclosed storm sewer system, Mitchard said.

As of now, he said construction is slated to begin May 2016 with completion expected in the fall of that year. And Village President John Schmitt said the Highland Avenue project is merely a portion of future plans to install paths throughout the village.

"The Highland Avenue project is going to be beneficial to residents who live really anywhere in the village," Schmitt said.

He confirmed there are currently about 30 miles of pathway woven throughout the community.

"But we have a plan – it's going to take us a long time, but we do have a plan in place to ultimately double that," he said.