RANTOUL — The walking-and-biking path recently completed on the north side of the village has been a smashing success, according to Mayor Chuck Smith.
So much so, Rantoul wants to expand it.
The village board took its first step toward seeking Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant money at this week's meeting to expand the path into downtown Rantoul and to Rudzinski Park.
Smith said the shared-use path would be "an exemplary addition to the community as it improves the movements of pedestrians and bicycles into the downtown area."
He said it would offer direct access to the Amtrak station. He said the current shared-use path is supported and used by the public.
Total project cost to develop the new path was placed at $991,450.
It would connect with the existing path at Letchworth Avenue and Kentucky Avenue. As part of the project the village would upgrade an existing substandard pedestrian railroad crossing to a bike path crossing.
The path would extend to Rudzinski Park on West Grove Avenue and would loop around the perimeter of the pond. Bollards would be proposed at some roadway intersections to prevent vehicular traffic from entering the shared-use path.
The recently completed 10-foot-wide asphalt path extends from U.S. 45 east to Lon Drive extended to the west side of Taylor Studios in the former Wal-Mart building. It then turns south to connect with U.S. 136.