Route 66 in the News
Route 66 Bikeway Gets Funding Boost
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. - The Route 66 bikeway is getting a $1.44 million boost from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Gov. Pat Quinn recently announced that $20 million of the federal money will go to 27 alternative transportation projects across the state, including a planned stretch of the bikeway from west Bloomington to Shirley.
McLean County Highway Engineer Eric Schmitt said all the work that a variety of groups have done on the project through the years likely is the reason it was one chosen for the money.
In July, the McLean County Board approved an engineering contract for the project so it would be "shovel ready" in hopes of attracting some of the federal money for the $1.75 million project.
Bloomington, Normal, McLean County and other towns along the route will share 20 percent of the cost.
Schmitt said the project likely will go out for bid in March. Construction may start in May or June and finish by the end of summer.
The path will start near Fox Creek Road, travel on the west side of old Route 66 for 1½ miles, then switch to the east side of the road near Shirley, Schmitt said.
Proponents of the Route 66 bikeway hope it will eventually extend from Chenoa to McLean.
A portion in Lexington and another in Chenoa has been completed. The Lexington project was privately funded and the Chenoa stretch received $300,000 in funding.
~Mary Ann Ford, Pantagraph.com