Metro East bikers and businesses applaud Madison County’s investment in transportation projects

Cyclists on their way to the Madison County Transit Authority's Goshen Trail Extension in O'Fallon.

Cyclists on their way to the Madison County Transit Authority’s Goshen Trail Extension in O’Fallon.

This article was originally published by St. Louis Public Radio.

Madison County Transit Begins $45 million worth of bike and bus projectsin the next five years.

Last month, transportation $34 million expansion A cycle path system that includes the construction of over 20 miles of new cycle paths, two tunnels and seven bridges. It also plans to spend an additional $11 million on the bus system.

The goal of the bridge and tunnel is to reduce cyclists crossing busy streets, according to SJ Morrison, managing director of Madison County Transit.

The agency currently operates 138 miles of trails. The largest bike investments are made in Mississippi River communities. More than $12 million will be used for shared roads in downtown Alton and his six other Riverbend his communities.

One of the two tunnels will be built in Collinsville under Illinois 157.

Funding for these projects comes from agency tax revenues and grants from the Metro East Park and Recreation District. Funding for the bus business comes from a state program called Rebuild Illinois.

Morrison said the expansion of biking in the 18 communities reflects Madison County’s move to become “the hub of the Midwest’s bike trails.”

“It’s a great way to get around the metropolitan area,” says Luke Harris, an avid biker who also runs Glen Carbon-based cycling business Crossroads Bike Tours.

This business operates self-guided tours on the Katy Trail, which traverses much of South Dakota, Florida, Prince Edward Island, and Missouri. Harris said he is also planning a tour of Madison County.

Harris said he appreciates tunnels and bridges that make bicycling safer.

For Harris, these investments reflect Madison County’s commitment to bike paths. Their use is something he sees all year round, including the start of the new year. Harris said he saw about 200 people using the trail that Sunday afternoon.

“You can tell that the community not only enjoyed the warm weather, but they loved the trails,” he said.

warehouse worker bus

The largest bus investment is $4.2 million to build the county’s sixth interchange station, which will serve a growing “Logistics Valley” with nearly 30 warehouses for various businesses. Gateway Commerce Enterprise Zone.

“More than 10,000 jobs are created every day,” says Morrison. “What we have found is that a large portion of that population is dependent on transport, which means they don’t have cars.”

Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Tesla and World Wide Technology are just a few of the companies with facilities just north of Interstate 270 between Pontoon Beach and Edwardsville.

“As one of Madison County’s largest employers, World Wide Technology supports any investment made by the county to make the region easily accessible for workers,” the company said in a statement. increase.

Amazon spokesperson Andy DiOrio said Amazon also supports community infrastructure projects.

“In this project, we believe that having more equitable transportation options is a positive development for all residents, not just facility employees,” said DiOrio.

Madison County has served its growing warehouse district for the past 15 years, and Morrison says it has 27 unique shift start and end times.

“It’s a very difficult thing to try to meet needs,” he said.

The addition of transfer stations will also allow the bus service system to operate more efficiently, Morrison said.

Other bus projects include building a $2.8 million park-and-ride parking lot in Collinsville, a nearly $1 million renovation of a Granite City interchange station, and $3 million worth of new technology for buses. Includes adding and allowing passengers to track the next available bus. Metro East bikers and businesses applaud Madison County’s investment in transportation projects

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