Algonquin is seeking federal funding to create a bike path running through its downtown and connecting to two regional trails.
The new bikeway would run along parts of Harrison and Main streets, linking the south end of an existing Route 31 bike path with the McHenry County Conservation District's Prairie Trail, which becomes the Fox River Trail once it hits Kane County.
The $1.8 million project is the last piece of the village's connectivity to a regional trail system extending throughout the suburbs and into Wisconsin, Assistant Village Manager Mike Kumbera said.
"It's a great regional recreational amenity, and in this case, it's a key component of our downtown plan," he said. "There's a lot of recreational opportunity right here in our central business district."
The village has agreed to pay 33 percent, or $571,200, of the project costs and is seeking financial assistance for the remaining $1.2 million.
Trustees this week approved applying for a federal grant through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program, which promotes the development of alternative transportation options. The funds are administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation.
The new bikeway is included in the village's $30 million project to make its historic downtown more pedestrian-friendly, Kumbera said. Wider walkways, new bridges, updated outdoor gathering spaces and restructured streets are among the other components of the streetscape plan, phased in over several years.
The path also fulfills a request from residents in the Arrowhead neighborhood, near the Route 31 western bypass, for better pedestrian access to the downtown area and other parts of the village, Kumbera said.
Algonquin is in the midst of completing the project's design phase. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2019.