Oswego, Yorkville sign on to Route 71 bike path deal

Susie Zels and her son Alaxander, of Cary, ride along a bike path through Hoffman Park Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, in Cary.

Oswego and Yorkville have signed on to a deal that virtually guarantees the Illinois Department of Transportation will construct a bicycle and pedestrian trail along Route 71 as part of a highway widening project.

After IDOT builds the path, it will be up to the village of Oswego and the city of Yorkville and Kendall County to maintain the paved trail.

The Oswego Village Board and the Yorkville City Council on June 14 each approved an intergovernmental agreement with Kendall County and the Forest Preserve District for the perpetual maintenance of the pathway.

The Kendall County Board had already ratified the deal earlier in the month.

The trail, officially designated by IDOT as a “shared-use path,” will extend from a point east of Schoolhouse Road (Route 126) in Yorkville to Orchard/Minkler Road in Oswego, effectively creating a connection between the downtown areas of the two municipalities.

The intergovernmental agreement satisfies a requirement from the Illinois Department of Transportation for local governments to maintain and repair those portions of a bike path within their jurisdictions.

Under the deal, the Kendall County Forest Preserve will be responsible for the central portion of the trail, about 4.5 miles that extend through unincorporated areas that are not part of either of the two municipalities.

Yorkville and Oswego will take responsibility for the upkeep, maintenance and repair of the trail sections within their corporate limits.

Any areas along the trail that are subsequently annexed by one or the other municipality will become part of its responsibility, under the intergovernmental agreement.

The trail, which is to be similar in design to the bike path that runs along Route 34, will provide a direct connection between downtown essentially represents a gift to the county and the two municipalities, provided they agree to maintain the path.