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Sunday, December 06, 2009

New bike/ped bridge planned for Great River Road

A new bicycle/pedestrian bridge is being planned for the Sam Vadalabene Bike Trail along the Great River Road between Alton and Grafton, Ill.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports that $263,508 of federal Scenic Byway funds will be used construct a bridge over Piasa Creek roughly halfway between Alton and Grafton. No timetable has been set for construction of the bridge.

Currently, the trail crosses Piasa Creek on designated bike lanes on the Great River Road bridges used by motorized traffic. The trail is an off-road trail between Alton and Piasa Creek. The trail mow moves to bike lanes on both sides of the Great River Road (Illinois 100) just east of Piasa Creek. The Telegraph story does not make clear how the bike trail will be rerouted once the bridge is built.

The Great Rivers Land Trust and Elsah Township not only intends to build the bridge, they also plan on building a rest area with informational kiosks about the Underground Railroad. In 1828, with the protection and assistance of Don Alonzo Spaulding and his family, the nearby Rocky Fork area became a large scale Underground Railroad station. Operated by both blacks and whites, the station drew fugitive slaves from Southern Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Descendants of those former slaves still attend the Rocky Fork AME Bethel Church, which is now part of the village of Godfrey.

The bridge will be built on the abutments on a old railroad bridge across Piasa Creek. Before the Great River Road was built, the Illinois Terminal Railroad had a line between Alton and Grafton.


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Roger 2 comments links to this post 11:40 PM

Great info, Roger. As usual you are always first to "feed" me information on what's going on in cycling either local, national or global!

Keep up the great work.
thanks Roger!
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