April 2009 – TWM is currently providing engineering services on a number of park and bike trail projects in the Metro East. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1990 (ISTEA) and subsequent bills allocate a certain percentage of federal transportation funds to pedestrian and bicycle facilities. In the State of Illinois, walking is at the top of the list of outdoor recreational activities, with 76% of the adults in the State participating. Bicycling is fourth on the list, with 44.2% of adults participating. But a network of trails opens the possibility of people commuting on foot or by bicycle, making these projects important in creating an alternative to our dependence on the automobile and gasoline.
Metro East Park and Recreation District
TWM is performing a corridor study for a riverfront bike trail from the McKinley Bridge to Malcolm W. Martin Memorial Park in East St. Louis to Cargill Road. This six-mile stretch along the river levee would connect the Confluence Bikeway and McKinley Bridge Bikeway to the north with the Cahokia Levee Trails to the south, to make 23 miles of continuous bikeway.
In addition, TWM is performing engineering services for Malcolm Martin Park. The park is located across the Mississippi River from downtown St. Louis, and therefore has spectacular views of the city. The park’s focal point is the Gateway Geyser, the world’s tallest fountain that shoots water 630 feet into the air, to a level equal to the height of St. Louis’ Gateway Arch. TWM is providing engineering for park lighting, the decorative LED illumination of the Geyser’s energy dissipation structure, and the landscape irrigation system.
St. Clair County Transit District
TWM is also providing design services for St. Clair County Transit District (SCCTD) for the extension of the MetroBikeLink Trail along the MetroLink alignment in Belleville and Swansea, Illinois. It will be constructed in two different sections: North End Park to Swansea Station, then Swansea Station to Memorial Station. At the same time, TWM has designed the final phase of the Richland Creek Bikeway in Swansea. These trails will extend the County’s network of trails by tying together Swansea’s Richland Creek Bikeway, the City of Belleville’s Richland Creek Greenway, and the existing and future MetroBikeLink Trail.
As part of the SCCTD project, TWM is designing a bridge to carry the trail over Illinois Route 159. The county board recommended including the bridge to create a safer crossing for pedestrians. The trail will also cross over Richland Creek and the Norfolk Southern Railroad via a TWM designed bridge.
Madison County Transit District
TWM is currently designing two bike trail projects in Madison County: the extension of the Watershed Trail from Union Street to High Street in Edwardsville and the extension of the Nickel Plate Trail from Fruit Road in Edwardsville to US 140 in Alhambra.
The 0.4-mile Watershed Trail extension will create a 5.1 mile continuous path from Roxana to Edwardsville, providing a direct connection to the Edwardsville Business District, an area currently underserved by multi-use paths. The Watershed Trail connects users to 75 miles of trails throughout the region.
The Nickel Plate Trail will connect the Village of Alhambra to the county’s network of bike trails, giving users access to 85 miles of trails. The proposed 8.2-mile extension will increase the Nickel Plate Trail’s length to approximately 22 miles.