St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) today announced it has approved $355,051 to be used toward engineering for Phase I of the Fairview Heights – Swansea Trail. This proposed 1.7-mile bike and pedestrian pathway will extend from the traffic signal at the intersection of Illinois Route 161 and Sullivan Drive in Belleville to Frank Scott Parkway in Fairview Heights, connecting residents in Belleville, Swansea and Fairview Heights to the 14 continuous miles of trails in Southwestern Illinois known as the MetroBikeLink System, which links users to six Metro Transit Centers.
The design phase will take approximately 12 months and will include topography and boundary surveys; designing the trail, a bridge to go over the MetroLink tracks and a retaining wall near Llewellyn Road; geotechnical borings/reporting; extending a large box culvert; and coordination with IDOT, Metro and St. Clair County Highway Departments for permits for the work. The project will provide a separate 10’ wide asphalt shared use path (bike and pedestrian way) within the county’s right of way along Sullivan Road. This phase of the trail will connect over 2,000 homes in Swansea and Fairview Heights to the trail system including these 14 subdivisions – Willow Walk, Sullivan Meadows, Cobblestone Park, Sullivan Farms. Sullivan Manors, Larkin Meadows, Fairfield Manor, Wild Horse Meadows, Quail Ridge, Barrington Place, Greenbriar Meadows, Meadowlake Acres, Countryview Estates and Huntleigh Place.
The traffic signals at IL Route 161 will be modified to include pedestrian push buttons and ADA accessible ramps will be included to connect the trail to the existing sidewalk along 17th Street in Belleville. This connection will provide pedestrian access to another 2,500 homes in Belleville to the trail system. The traffic signals at Frank Scott Parkway will also be modified to include pedestrian push buttons and ADA accessible ramps.
“St. Clair County Transit District has several projects currently in the works to expand the reach of its MetroBikeLink System,” said Ken Sharkey, managing director for St. Clair County Transit District. “This new trail is part of the overall plan and we look forward to providing another 1.7 miles of accessible pathways that will ultimately connect community members to public transportation.”
The first section of the MetroBikeLink System opened in 2002 and was comprised of a four-mile trail, extending from Southwestern Illinois College to the Swansea MetroLink Station. Since then, the system has expanded to include the Memorial, Fairview Heights and Shiloh Scott sections for a total of 14 miles of trail adjacent to the MetroLink light rail tracks. Additional trails have been built by SCCTD to connect to this main artery, including SCCTD Orchard Loop Trail Phases I and II, the Engelmann Park Connector and the Old Collinsville Road Trail (currently under construction) totaling another eight miles of SCCTD connected trails. These accessible pathways, along with the connecting trails from other municipalities, will combine to provide over 35 miles of connected trails in St. Clair County including: the MetroBikeLink (14-mile continuous trail along the light rail alignment), Richland Creek Bikeway (1.5 miles), Orchard Loop Trail (4.7 mile partial loop to date), East Belleville Bikeway (2 miles), Boul Avenue Trail (0.5 mile), Mel Price Connector Trail (0.3 mile), SWIC Loop Trail (0.9 mile), Engelmann Farm/Shiloh Station Road Trail (1.3 miles), Air Mobility Drive Trail (1.2 miles), Seibert Road Trail (1 mile), St. Ellen Park Trail (1 mile), Old Collinsville Road Trail (1.7 miles under construction with another 1.8 miles in planning), Tecklenberg Trail (1.1 miles in planning) and Fairview Heights – Swansea Trail (1.7 miles in planning).