EDWARDSVILLE – The first steps in the creation of a shared-use path along Illinois Route 159 south of downtown got underway Friday, March 17. When it’s finished this summer, the 10-foot-wide off-road path will connect Magnolia Street to Madison County Transit’s Goshen Trail.

The City has brought on Stutz Excavating, which has begun clearing the area where the 2,700-foot path will be constructed. Efforts will be made to preserve and later replace trees and plantings between the path and Route 159, also known as Plum Street in that area.

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While some sections of the completed path will run close to the street, other portions will meander up to 30 feet west of the road to ensure a natural growth buffer. The shared use path is expected to open by the end of July. The City was awarded $150,000 from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, $240,000 from the Metro East Park and Recreation District, and $100,000 from the Agency for Community Transit, which in total, will cover the $445,270 cost of construction.

A shared use path in this area was among the top priorities of those who responded to two online surveys the City conducted in February and June of 2022 about desired bicycle and pedestrian improvements for Edwardsville. When completed, the path will offer another off-road route to help connect pedestrians and cyclists with the downtown area.

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