A worn dirt path used to line Dundee Township Park District property on the north side of Route 68. Now, the path is covered with a sidewalk set to be completed within the next month.
The 1,200-foot sidewalk along the south side of Bonnie Dundee Golf Course is the product of cooperation between the park district, Plote Homes, East Dundee and Carpentersville.
Plote Homes acquired Dundee Township Park District property in 2006 for utilities needs, and the company agreed to construct the sidewalk as payment.
"Instead of just giving cash, we got something that actually produced a benefit to the village and the people," said Dan Shepard, executive vice president of Plote Homes.
The $160,000-project cost much more than initially planned, partly because the Illinois Department of Transportation required unanticipated intersection improvements. But the idea that a sidewalk is safer to walk along than a dirt path has kept the concept moving forward.
"This far exceeded its cost in the benefit," Shepard said.
Plote Homes contributed almost $40,000 more than it originally planned and local municipalities pooled resources to cover the $38,600 intersection improvements.
East Dundee contributed $15,000, Carpentersville gave $10,000, Dundee Township added $5,000 and the park district covered the rest.
The sidewalk stops at the end of park district property, basically at the end of the golf course, but Carpentersville has plans to one day extend the path.
A sidewalk construction project could begin as early as next year, according to Janice Murphy, director of economic development and special projects for the village of Carpentersville. That project would fill in sidewalk from Route 25 to Wakefield Drive, leaving a gap at the quarry area on Route 68 for a later project.
Soon at least part of that route will have a sidewalk.
"For years people had been walking along the north side of Route 68 through trees, weeds and other vegetation to get to the recreation center and the library," said Tom Mammoser, executive director of the Dundee Township Park District. "It just made sense to attempt to give pedestrians a safer way to walk."