Kudos to the Cook County Forest Preserve District board for stepping up to find $100,000 to contribute toward the first leg of the First Avenue/Salt Creek connector bike path.
The money will pay about half of the first phase of the project, which will run along the west side of First Avenue from Ridgewood Road to 31st Street. The next two legs — a path running west to Golfview Road and then one running north along Golfview and then First Avenue to 26th Street — is expected to break ground in 2015 and has the support of state Sen. Martin Sandoval, who confirmed to the Landmark recently that he is seeking $600,000 in state funding for the project. Sandoval is the Senate transportation committee chairman.
The final segment, an east-west path from Golfview Road to Prairie Avenue, will be trickier in terms of funding, but has the support of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, which would use that segment of the path as a direct connection to the Salt Creek Trail on the north side of 31st Street west of McCormick Avenue.
And on Monday, the village of Brookfield voted to lend its official support to the effort — the third and final municipality to do so. What a change from a decade or so ago, when it was opposition from Brookfield that derailed a county plan to extend a bike path through the village.
With the $100,000 from the county and the support of Sandoval, it looks like the long-awaited Salt Creek connector will soon be a reality. And that’s great news.