Bike riders in Carol Stream will soon have an easier way to get to the Great Western Trail, the 12-mile-long bike path that runs east to west through DuPage County.
Construction is expected to start soon on a new quarter-mile bike path south of the intersection of Kuhn and St. Charles roads that will link an existing path in Red Hawk Park to the Great Western Trail, located on the right of way of the former Chicago and Great Western Railroad.
Village and park district officials have long been planning to connect a series of local trails, which generally follow Kuhn Road north-to-south, to the Great Western Trail.
But it wasn't until last month that the park district finalized a deal with ComEd to lease a 3,000-square-foot piece of land south of Red Hawk Park to be able to construct the final trail link. The park district will pay ComEd $1 a year under terms of the recreational lease agreement.
This week, the park board awarded a $159,661 contract to build the link, which will connect to already-completed trails in Red Hawk and O'Rahilly Volunteer parks.
The new bike trails are being funded as part of the district's $37 million parks improvement program approved by voters in a February 2010 referendum.
The work is expected to be complete by October.
The series of park district trails will connect with the village's new Kuhn Road bike path that is now nearing completion.
The 1.4-mile asphalt trail on the west side of Kuhn extends from O'Rahilly Volunteer Park to Lies Road. The trail's $930,000 cost includes the price of design study and final engineering, construction, and right of way and easement acquisitions. About half the cost is being covered with federal grants.
The old sidewalk on Kuhn was "recycled" by breaking it into smaller pieces and incorporating it into the base for the asphalt, according to Jim Knudsen, the village's director of engineering services.
All of the asphalt has been applied and concrete ramps installed. Crews are now working on the restoration process, which includes grass seeding near the trail -- a process that may not be complete until fall, Knudsen said.
Construction was ahead of schedule due to the lack of rain, he said.
The village is planning to have a formal grand opening for the trail soon.