Groundbreaking for Phase III of TREC Trail Scheduled

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Published on August 20 2013 7:42 pm
Last Updated on August 21 2013 2:27 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The TREC board will host a groundbreaking ceremony and a lunch reception for Phase III of the project at noon Thursday, Aug. 29. The event will be held along Fairview Drive, near Hilltop Estates.

“We are very excited to begin this next phase of the trails project, which will more than double the length of the existing trail,” said TREC Chairman Frank Brummer. “The TREC board continues to promote the development of a countywide, multi-use trail system, and this project meets one of our board’s main goals, which is to connect the trail system to the Lake Sara area.”

The 10-foot-wide concrete trail, which is expected to be complete next summer, will extend the existing trail to the Lake Sara area, which has a population of about 500 residents near the 800-acre recreation lake. The trail will connect the current portion of the trail ending on the Nazerene Church Road to Hilltop Estates and connect a portion of the trail west of Ryan’s Crossing to Kingwood Estates.

Brummer added the project that will add about 2 miles of trail and will include two parking lots, along with a trestle bridge that he anticipates will become a landmark for the county.

“The trestle bridge is the architectural highlight of this project, much like the Ryan Wolters Memorial Bridge is along the first phase of the project,” said Brummer.

The project costs for the third phase is estimated at $1.15 million, with 80 percent funded through a federal grant distributed through the Illinois Department of Transportation. The 20 percent of matching funds needed for the grant to be collected is being raised through fundraisers and community activities.

“We are currently fundraising to cover the 20 percent match needed for this project, and we are confident we will meet our goal with the support of our generous supporters,” said Brummer. “We couldn’t do any of this without the support of the public and the local governing bodies, like the City of Effingham and the Effingham County Board.”

The mission of Trails Recreation Effingham County (TREC) is to develop a countywide, multi-use trail system.  The first phase of the ongoing project was completed in the fall of 2010, when TREC opened the Calico Trail, on the west edge of Effingham. For more information on the TREC trail or for a map of the TREC trail, visit www.trectrails.com.