John A. Logan College has been participating in the development of a regional bike plan to connect existing multi-use pedestrian and bicycle trails across two counties.
Upon completion, bicyclists will be able to ride from the west side of Marion to the west side of Carbondale on one, continuous, marked bike trail.
Currently, there are trails that lead toward the college from Marion, but they end at Division Street in Carterville. And there are trails that lead to the west side of the college campus from Carbondale. The new regional bike trail would include those trails and others, along with a route through the John A. Logan college campus.
Staff from the regional Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and the Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (Greater Egypt) have been working with the college to complete an application for an Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant that would fund the work required to connect the trails.
This project is budgeted to cost $550,000 and would be funded by a state grant of $440,000, which has a 20 percent local match required contribution of $110,000. That local match money would be provided by IDOT -- $60,000 for a pedestrian bridge on the east side of campus -- and $50,000 from the college's tort immunity fund or self-insurance fund to be used for the replacement of that bridge, which collapsed during a flood in the spring of 2017. (The college insurance deductible for flood-related claims is $50,000.)
The board approved the submission of the grant application, which includes a board resolution to accompany the "Local Assurance" document, part of the grant application.