U.S. Bicycle Route System > Corridor 66 Implementation

Route 66 in IL and beyond!

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The town of Normal, IL held a public meeting announcing their proposed Bike/Pedestrian Plan on Tuesday.  There was a good group citizens (30 or so) who got to hear from the Mayor and the Consultant they hired to prepare the plan.  It was very encouraging to hear from people who wanted to promote bike and pedestrian travel.  They will be putting the draft plan on the town’s web site,  http://www.normal.org/ in a couple of weeks.  They also were asking for public comments and suggestions.   They are serious about the issue as evidenced by spending $50,000 consultant fee for the plan.  That is quite a bit of money for the town of 50,000 population.


At the meeting I met Don & Sharon A Mcginnis from the Friends of the Constitution Trail (Bloomington-Normal’s trail system).  I spoke to them about the Route 66 Bike Route.  They said Normal was attempting to get grants for part of the route.  They also said McLean County was active in grant seeking for Route 66 projects.  The Bloomington City Council had just voted Monday to spend over $600,000 on an extension southward of the main north-south branch of the Constitution Trail.  The federal government  had awarded a $1,000,000 grant for the $1.6 million project in previous years.  This extension will take the main north-south segment to just a few blocks from a long trail segment heading west.  This extension would be a part of the Bike Route 66.


All in all it was very encouraging to see signs of progress at the local level.  I think they are getting excited enough that grant applications will  be matched locally to enable continued progress as the federal funding grows.


Here's another way local groups can get assistance with projects.

The National Park Service helps partners plan successful locally-led
outdoor recreation and natural resource conservation projects.

August 1 is the deadline for the next round of assistance from our
Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss project ideas
with RTCA staff before submitting an application.

Visit www.nps.gov/rtca for more information.

The folks are AWESOME and can really make a difference in planning and executing your projects. Give them a call and check out the program.

So I spoke to Ed Barsotti at the League of Illinois Bicyclists and they have Route 66 mapped out. Check out the maps and their site: http://www.bikelib.org/route66/

Scroll down to the "User Guide Segments" to see the maps.

I believe there is a great deal of support that can be generated to create this US Bike Route. Let's get some other states to contribute to this discussion~

The IL Dept of Natural Resources, League of Illinos Bicyclists and Illinois Trails Conservancy are planning a Media Ride on the Route 66 Trail Aug 29-Sept 3.  The purpose is to promote the Route 66 Bike route at various cities & towns along the route.  McLean County has been in the forefront of this effort.  Towanda and Lexington have bike paths several miles long established on Route 66 right of way.  Chenoa has received a federal grant for a similar path.  Normal has put an extension of the Route on its Bike plan with 5 miles of the Route 66 already constructed as part of the local Constitution Trail.  Bloomington has just voted a $1.6 Million extension to the Route.  McLean County has a long term 5 phase plan for a trail extending southward from Bloomington as part of Route 66.  There is a lot of momentum for this route especially with the tourism benefits associated with Route 66.

Bob Clay

The McLean County Board in Illinois just approved an engineering contract for a 3 mile stretch of the route 66 Bikeway.  McLean County is hopefully the project will become "shovel ready" to attract Federal grant money for the $1.75 Million estimated construction cost.  The route would run from west Bloomington to Shirley, Illinois.  This is the first phase of a 5 phase plan in the County for the Route 66 Bikeway.  the muncipalities of Bloomington & Normal have recently adopted plans to extend the Constitution Trail some sections of which form part of the Route 66 Bikeway.


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