Construction is starting on the long awaited extension of the North Branch Trail! The dream to connect some of the region’s most popular bike and hiking trails is being realized because of a partnership between Alderman Laurino, the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Cook County Forest Preserve District.
The trail extension will begin at the Irene C. Hernandez Picnic Grove at Foster and Kostner, and weave more than three miles through forest preserves, ending at Devon and Caldwell. There, it will connect with the existing North Branch Trail, a beautiful route which extends 18 miles through forest preserves, ending at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. To ensure trail users’ safety and comfort, the extension will include a tunnel under Cicero and the Expressway, and a bridge over the Metra tracks.
The south end of the extension will be less than a mile from an existing bike route that runs along Carmen Avenue to the North Shore Channel Trail. That trail already runs north to Evanston, and planned extensions will take it south to Addison.
The trail will provide the residents of Indian Road Woods, Old Edgebrook, Albany Park, Sauganash, and Forest Glen direct access to the existing North Branch Bicycle Trail. This project will serve as an important segment of the connection between the North Branch Trail and the City of Chicago Lakefront Trail. Consideration will be given to addressing all modes of transportation and striving to preserve scenic, aesthetic, historic, and environmental resources while maintaining and enhancing safety and mobility. The trail will also provide safety beneﬁts by replacing the existing narrow and sub-standard sidewalks.
“Whether you are a serious cyclist, or a casual walker and rider like myself, the North Branch Trail extension will bring beautiful outings right into our neighborhood,” said Alderman Laurino.
Construction is expected to be completed by Spring of 2015.
Alderman Laurino held a meeting to discuss the North Branch Trail extension on Monday, Dec. 9th. Representatives from the Forest Preserve were on hand to answer questions about the trail. We will be posting the full presentation from the Forest Preserve soon.
UPDATE: Follow the link to view the presentation by FPDCC