Originally Published by Journal & Topics by Todd Wessell October 26, 2020
Des Plaines aldermen last week voted to take the next step that will lead to the construction of a pedestrian-bicycle path underneath the Northwest Highway S-curve west of the downtown area.
Council members agreed to submit an application for federal funding for Phase 2 engineering for the approximately $3.6 million project. That money will be earmarked for engineering, right-of-way property acquisition, and construction, which could start in 2023.
For the last several years, city officials have been working to develop a pedestrian-bike path that would stretch from an area near residential units west of the bridge on the north side of Northwest Highway, under the wooden trestle that’s used by three rail lines, to a point east of the bridge at Western Avenue.
In 2017, the city completed a year-long Phase I feasibility study that recommended an underpass along the north side of Northwest Highway. In addition, city engineers have been working to secure permission from the railroads. the task is nearing completion.
Phase I engineering is expected to be completed in early 2021. Phase 2 engineering would be completed about two years later allowing for construction to begin.
The federal funding provides up to 80% with a maximum award of $2 million per project. The city is expected to pay the remaining cost. City Manager Mike Bartholomew has said that the money the city will pay might be secured through another federal grant.