An architect's drawing of the proposed multi-use path.
Bethalto residents are one step closer to having a new attraction following Monday night’s village board meeting.
Trustees voted to seek federal funding for a multi-use path that will connect walkers and cyclists to the Bethalto Sports Complex, Civic Memorial High School, Wilbur Trimpe Middle School, downtown Bethalto, the city park and arboretum, Parkside Primary School and the Madison County Transit trail system.
“The first phase of the project will run parallel with the Erwin Plegge Expressway and will cost approximately $1 million,” Public Works Director Rod Cheatham said. “Currently there are no facilities available for pedestrian or bikers. This project is at least five phases that will extend north and east.”
The project’s first phase will go from Old Bethalto Road to Ashbrook Street. Once funding is approved for phase one, trustees say they’re confident additional grants and federal funding will fall into place for the duration of the project.
Proposed improvements include a 10-foot-wide paved path with signage and striping. Aesthetic upgrades include shepherds-hook ornamental light standards and landscaping improvements. The project will meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. The village will maintain ownership of the project following completion and will be responsible for its upkeep.
Construction on phase one is estimated to begin in 2018. Plans for phase five of the project include a park at the end of St. Louis Regional Airport’s runway with AM radio access to tower communications, restroom facilities and parking.
“We reached out to the community for feedback and held an online survey until June 10,” Mayor Alan Winslow said. “Wood River Township is showing interest in potentially connecting with our project that would allow a further reach toward Gordon Moore Park. Before this project is over, we could have a multi-community project that will extend current bike and walking trails considerably. Our first step is working on funding for our project and take it from there.”
More than 200 residents filled out the survey within the first 24 hours. Winslow said he’s impressed with the feedback.
“We are very pleased with the support we’re seeing from residents on this project,” he said. “We don’t have anything like this available for our residents to connect them for recreational or even competitive activity with the rest of the trails. It will be nice to have this in our own community so our residents won’t have to travel away to bike or walk safely.”
Fire department personnel needed
The Bethalto Volunteer fire Department is seeking individuals interested in joining the department. Full training is provided.
“We are in serious need of manpower,” Fire Chief Alex Campbell said. “We are one of the busiest volunteer departments in the county with medical calls, traffic accidents and fire alarms. We will train volunteers and they will go through a probationary period.”
Anyone interested in filling out an application can visit the department in person at 213 N. Prairie St. in Bethalto, call (618) 377-6421 or download an application at bethalto.com.