Updated: March 3, 2013 6:14AM
GRAYSLAKE — The Lake County Forest Preserves has received a $1.9 million state grant for the Millennium Trail Rollins Road Bike Path Underpass project.
The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program grant program is administered by the Illinois Department of Transportation and provides funding to local governments for projects that support alternative modes of transportation and improve quality of life.
The grant will help fund construction of an underpass at Rollins Road, just west of Route 45, Grayslake. The trail tunnel will connect Rollins Savanna and Fourth Lake Forest Preserves and provide an extension of the Millennium Trail in north-central Lake County, forest preserve officials said.
When the underpass is complete, Millennium Trail users will be able to travel between four connected preserves — Rollins Savanna, Fourth Lake, Bonner Farm and McDonald Woods — and to several neighboring communities and local destinations, including the Lindenhurst Park District, Grayslake North High School, College of Lake County, Metra stations, and various residential and business districts.
Construction of the underpass is scheduled to begin later this spring, with completion anticipated sometime in 2014.
The 35-mile Millennium Trail will connect central, western and northern Lake County communities and forest preserves. It will eventually link to the northern section of the Des Plaines River Trail in Wadsworth.
Today, more than 20 miles are complete and open to hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers.
A 9.25-mile section from Lakewood Forest Preserve north to Singing Hills Forest Preserve is open to equestrians. The Millennium Trail is part of the proposed Grand Illinois Trail which one day will link multiple trails between Chicago and Galena.
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has identified the Millennium Trail as a Priority Greenway. The trail is also part of the Lake County Division of Transportation’s Year 2020 Transportation Priority Plan.