Government | Sauk Valley News

Dixon pursues additional $2 million grant for bike path extension project

Project costs grow to nearly $7 million

Bikers, walkers and runners all took advantage of the beautiful weather this past week to hit the path in DIxon.

DIXON – The city is applying for an additional $2 million state transportation grant to extend the city bike path in a project that’s grown to about $7 million.

The Dixon City Council had a public hearing Monday for applying for the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant.

The city won a $2 million ITEP grant in 2016 with the project estimated to cost around $2.7 million but held off to settle years of environmental remediation needed at the former Dixon Iron and Metal scrap yard in order to open up a piece of pathway along the river.

Last year, the city landed another ITEP grant for about $1.5 million.

The project is to extend the bike path 1.6 miles – stretching east on River Road toward Raynor Garage Doors and west along the river with a ramp to the viaducts running to Seventh Street.

The viaducts would be landscaped, there would be a curved boardwalk leading up to them, and the path would include lighting and other features.

“The project has morphed over the last few years into really a first-class path network that runs right along the river, right through downtown,” Public Works Director Matt Heckman said. “We’ve got a vision where we want this to be when it’s all said and done, and this is giant leaps toward where we want to be, but we still have more to go.”

If the city receives the $2 million additional grant, the project cost for the city would be about $1.5 million.

Work could begin in May 2024 and be completed by November 2024.

Mayor Li Arellano Jr. said the path is a good step toward not only improving recreational traffic but also for opening up a trail for those who walk or bike to work. An overall goal is to keep extending the trail south to the industrial park and commercial corridors.

The project is the third phase in the city’s riverfront master plan, and it will lead into the fourth phase, for which Dixon won a $12 million federal transportation grant to build a pedestrian bridge across the Rock River and add trail.

The city received the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE program grant last year after several years of applying.

The project includes constructing a pedestrian bridge on the old Illinois Central Railroad piers, adding 2.8 miles of multiuse path, doing new sidewalks and crossings, and resurfacing Page Drive, which is maintained by the Dixon Park District.

There will be new trails and pathways in the wooded area of Page Park commonly used for the Reagan Run, a new pedestrian pathway to the baseball fields and tennis courts, as well as improvements to Page Drive, the baseball field, parking and the boat docks.

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers

Rachel Rodgers joined Sauk Valley Media in 2016 covering local government in Dixon and Lee County.