New Gary Avenue bike trail taking shape in Carol Stream
A bike and pedestrian trail under construction in Carol Stream will provide an accessible link to a commercial corridor and the 12-mile Great Western Trail when it opens this fall, DuPage County officials said.
The village secured $1.875 million in grant funding for the project in December 2011. It then turned over the federal aid to the county, the lead agency for the engineering and construction of the 2.2-mile trail.
The asphalt path will run on the west side of Gary Avenue between the Great Western Trail and Army Trail Road.
The county tackled the project separately from a widening and resurfacing of Gary Avenue completed about three years ago because the latter roadwork was not funded by federal dollars and did not require the additional oversight of other agencies.
But crews laid the groundwork for the bike trail -- setting up grading, ADA-accessible ramps, traffic signals and push buttons, for instance -- during the Gary Avenue improvements, said Christopher Snyder, DuPage director of transportation.
Pedestrians previously made a "beaten path," not a sidewalk, a well-established route along Gary Avenue, Snyder said. That's why the county and the village expect the trail will be heavily used for access to Stratford Square Mall and other businesses.
An exercise amenity, the trail will complement access to the Fountain View Recreation Center and the Town Center as well as provide a continuous connection to Pace bus shelters, Snyder said.
Bicyclists on Gary will be able to continue west on a popular Lies Road trail all the way to Fair Oaks Road and the West Branch Forest Preserve, said Bill Cleveland, the village's engineering services director.
"It will just be a real nice benefit to just be able to walk safely up and down Gary Avenue," he said.
As crews make "good progress," Snyder said October is a realistic time frame for completion of the project, weather permitting.
Contractors are now focusing on the middle section of the trail from North Avenue to Stark Drive and preparing to put stone in place and pave the path.
While the federal funds will contribute $1.875 million, the county's share amounts to about $623,000.