Paved trail link along Shoe Factory Road in Hoffman Estates officially opens
Local leaders gathered Saturday morning to open the long-delayed east-west bike trail link along Shoe Factory Road from Route 59 west to the Canadian National railroad tracks in Hoffman Estates.
The project, which cost around $470,000, paved a 0.7-mile stretch of what was a dirt and grass path to link existing paved paths.
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said at the ribbon cutting that the new trail spur would connect Hoffman Estates residents to the nearly 9-mile Poplar Creek red loop trail, which is also paved, as well as many miles of unpaved trails.
"Trails are an important resource for healthy living, especially during this pandemic," said Preckwinkle, also president of the Forest Preserves of Cook County. "Many people are rediscovering how wonderful it is to be outdoors in peaceful natural surroundings."
The village of Hoffman Estates, Hoffman Estates Park District and Cook County Forest Preserve District signed an intergovernmental agreement in February to get the project done during the 2020 construction season. It's seen as an important component in keeping bicyclists and pedestrians safely off a particularly busy stretch of Shoe Factory Road.
Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod said the project was eight years in the making, which he joked was just a blink of an eye in government time.
"We're very blessed in Hoffman Estates to have thousands of acres of forest preserve within our municipal boundaries, and it really affects the quality of life of the people," McLeod said. "It is great to have part of the country in the city, and that's what your forest preserves do, Madam President."
The village secured 80% of the funding from the state, with the remaining 20% shared by the village, Hoffman Estates Park District and the forest preserves.
Keith Evans, the treasurer and a commissioner of the Hoffman Estates Park District, was the only official who rode his bike to the ceremony. He said he's long used the trail, and now it will be easier for residents to go between the sections of the village without having to drive a car.
"I can't wait to try it," Evans said.