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Walking through Corporate Woods may get easier

Updated: March 13, 2014 6:22AM

Trustees in Vernon Hills are considering a $1 million project that would build a sidewalk along one side of the road in Corporate Woods to help workers and nearby residents exercise more safely.

Director of Public Works David Brown said the public road is scheduled for routine resurfacing and he noticed the inclusion of a sidewalk is listed in the village’s long-term infrastructure plan.

“Many companies nowadays have wellness programs for their employees, and (people) will sometimes go walking or jogging on lunch breaks,” Brown said. “We’re trying to balance dollars with safety to help our population with their goals.”

The village’s bike path also was extended in multiple locations last year. One small portion was along Route 45 outside Corporate Woods, and the new strip connects two lengthy paths.

In case residents who bike or jog those paths decide to cut through Corporate Woods or stop to sit near a pond, Brown said the potential new sidewalk would be safer than using a street that semi trucks often drive on.

Corporate Woods was built more than 20 years ago before any of the neighboring business parks or residential subdivisions, Brown said. However, walkers and joggers are seen quite often.

The Village Board appeared interested in the project last month, but Mayor Roger Byrne first wanted to see if Corporate Woods owner Van Vlissingen and Co. would be willing to contribute money.

If the $1 million sidewalk addition gets approved, Brown said the chosen style would be a five-foot concrete carriage walk — which means the curb and sidewalk would directly connect without a grass parkway in between.

Vernon Hills would not have to purchase any land for a sidewalk, as the project would involve extra roadway and the public utility easement.

Should trustees decide against a sidewalk, Brown said the unusually wide road could be striped to indicate a multi-use path. That option would include $100,000 to pour concrete where the road narrows at Corporate Woods’ entrances.

The actual road resurfacing is already underway as plans are being reviewed by the Illinois Department of Transportation. Brown said IDOT approval is not needed for a sidewalk, so that option still has time.

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