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Route 66 News

Grant will pay for Route 66 bicycle trail extension at Towanda

McLean County, Ill., was awarded an $800,000 state grant to extend the Historic Route 66 Bikeway more than 2 1/2 miles from Towanda, reported the Bloomington Pantagraph.

The extension of the existing bicycle trail runs from Illinois Highway 29 to north to the end of an old alignment of Route 66. The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program’s requires a 20 percent match from local municipalities.

According to WJBC:

“We expect this is a project that will provide recreational opportunities,” said Wasson. “It also provides a safe way for people to take their bikes out of the urban areas where there is much higher traffic.”

Funding has already been approved for the section from Normal to Towanda.

“We will be working on the north section first with this money,” said Wasson.

The project is still in the engineering phase, and will not be officially implemented until 2014.

The League of Illinois Bicyclists already has laid out the Illinois Route 66 Bike Trail, which runs from Chicago to the Mississippi River in the St. Louis area. Oklahoma is organizing a statewide bicycle trail along Route 66 as well.

And the Adventure Cycling Association is compiling a map for all of Route 66 it hopes to have available by early 2014.

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