Local Officials Announce $125,000 To Study Extending Kickapoo Rail Trail
On Monday local officials announced $125,000 in federal and private funding to study how the Kickapoo Rail Trail could be extended west through downtown Urbana.
The trail currently runs about seven miles from east Urbana to St. Joseph, and will eventually extend east to Kickapoo State Park in Vermilion County.
Now the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission will use $100,000 dollars in federal funding, and $25,000 more from Carle Foundation Hospital to look at extending the trail west to Lincoln Avenue.
Urbana Mayor Diane Marlin says the expanded trail would make downtown areas more accessible and help promote local businesses.
“For Urbana, it will provide an important connection across all our neighborhoods, between our parks, between the University of Illinois and the Carle Hospital campus," said Marlin.
She says rail trails are long-term investments of time and energy, but are worth it when looking at the benefits.
“It just contributes to the overall quality of life, amenities and attractions in the community," said Marlin.
Officials say the study will last approximately two years and produce a final report with recommendations and design concepts.