The city announced the receipt of a grant of almost $330,000 to go toward the construction of the planned bike path from the SIUC campus to the town square:
This grant will be used for the first phase of construction of the planned downtown bicycle and pedestrian pathway. The path will run from the SIU campus, just south of Grand Avenue, along the east side of the Canadian National Railway tracks to the Town Square, just north of Main Street. Funds from this grant are designated for the main section of the pathway from Mill Street to Main Street.
Mayor Fritzler stated, “I want to thank Governor Quinn and the Illinois Department of Transportation for seeing the value of this project. Once completed, this new pathway will be a great addition to the downtown for the residents and visitors of Carbondale. The development of this bike path linking the SIU campus to downtown businesses and neighborhoods will improve the accessibility of both Carbondale’s residents and SIU’s students. In addition, this new pathway will encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyles by providing a safe place to walk, jog, and bike within the center of town. It is our vision that this new pathway will set the standard and be the hub for future interconnecting pathways throughout the City.”
The Illinois Department of Transportation received applications for 328 projects. Carbondale was the only community to receive a grant from IDOT’s District 9 which encompasses the 16 southernmost counties of Southern Illinois.
This amount almost totals the $500,000 expected to come from the sales tax enacted by the city several years ago that also funds the bonds for the public safety center and the new fire station, as well as the university's Saluki Way project.