With vanishingly few exceptions, spring in central Illinois this year was a mixed bag: heavy rain or high heat, take your choice. So it could be that a few people didn’t notice that East Peoria’s River Trail of Illinois was closed for complete surface replacement.
And not only closed, but delayed by the same weather patterns that had me debating whether to raise my bird houses (like I say, it’s been wet).
Well, good news, sump pumpers: According to Fon du Lac Park District Director Brad Smith, the River Trail is likely to open June 23 or 24, possibly earlier in the week of June 20 if, you guessed it, the rain holds off.
The River Trail is under construction from the CVS on Main Street to just south of Route 150, where it connects with the Morton Bike Trail.
Here’s Smith: “We are still on line for the week of June 20, but contract work may not finish until Thursday or Friday. The second lift of asphalt was complete from CVS (Main Street) to Matheny Road as of June 15.
“If we get two more good days in this week, I hope to have the second lift installed up to the farmer’s access point near Bloomington Road. One to two days next week will allow us to finish all paving, and shoulder installation could be completed by the end of the week if we don’t get pushed back by inclement weather.”
Once the new surface is in place, it can rain all it wants. Showers don’t affect newly laid asphalt. However, continued wet weather can prevent heavy equipment from reaching certain parts of the trail for finishing work around the edges. That means trail users may notice park district employees near the open trail as work continues.
One other bit of news. The Park District seems to have managed its money pretty well. Smith again: “As of June 15, we are under budget for the project by approximately $80,000. Hopefully we will not have any unforeseen problems and this will remain the case.”