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Illinois awards $52 million for bicycle, walking paths

Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois communities are set to receive more than $52 million in federal funds to invest in local alternative transportation projects - including bike paths, walking trails, streetscape upgrades and historic preservation.

Gov. Pat Quinn said Saturday the money will pay for 71 projects across the state and support 400 jobs. Some of the biggest projects are in Cook, DuPage, Madison and Sangamon counties.

The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program provides federal money that is doled out competitively and encourages transportation-related projects, and local matching funds are required.

"These projects will support hundreds of jobs while preserving our heritage, beautifying communities and creating opportunities for pedestrians, bicyclists and others across Illinois," Quinn said.

The largest grant is $4.4 million for a 10-foot wide paved portion of the Sangamon Valley Trail in Sangamon County.

About $2.2 million will go toward constructing a seven-mile bike trail in Madison County connecting Troy and O'Fallon. In DuPage County, a project to complete a gap in the West Branch Regional Trail will receive $2.2 million.

The current round of applications to the Illinois Department of Transportation included 232 applications requesting funding totaling nearly $261 million.

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