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Ground broken to create Shabbona Pathway

SHABBONA – Ground was broken on Saturday, July 25, to mark the start of the construction for the first section of the Shabbona Pathway.

This first section of the Shabbona Pathway will provide a safe path for students to walk from near Indian Creek Elementary School to Indian Creek High School.

Leading the groundbreaking was Shabbona Pathway President Dan Nolan. He was joined by Illinois State Representative Tom Demmer, DeKalb County Forest Preserve Superintendent Terry Hannan, DeKalb County Forest Preserve Natural Resource Manager Josh Clark, Shabbona Village President Don Goncher, Indian Creek School Board Member Mark Peterson, Shabbona Township Supervisor and Shabbona Pathway Treasurer James Johnson and Shabbona Fire Chief Frank Ottengheime.

The Shabbona Pathway Committee started as a village committee in January 2013 and later became a nonprofit organization.

“The idea of a pathway connecting the village, schools, state park, golf course and subdivisions began in the early 1980s,” committee president Dan Nolan said. “There are about 425,000 visitors to the state park every year. We need a pathway linking Shabbona’s entities. There’s no way to get into the village other than driving. A pathway gives another option.”

Jim Johnson, Shabbona Township supervisor and treasurer of the Shabbona Pathway Committee, said that building a pathway is “a safety issue.”

“I’ve seen a number of close calls of people walking on the roads,” Johnson said. “There is no shoulder room for them. They have to walk where cars drive. It’s dangerous and we need to do something before something happens. A pathway would be a great asset to the community and allow people to walk, run and bicycle with greater safety.”

When completed, the pathway will be about 2.5 miles in length and 20 feet wide. The pathway’s width will allow 10 feet of asphalt and 5 feet of green space on each side of the path.

The entire project is expected to cost about $1.25 million and will be completed in phases. Grants will help cover land acquisition costs, the initial engineering services and the construction of the pathway between the two schools. Construction on the first part of the pathway will begin by early August.

“The pathway will make it easier for people to come to and from the park and downtown Shabbona,” Shabbona Lake State Park site supervisor Joe Lenkaitis said. “We’re all excited to see the pathway finally getting started.”

For more information about the Shabbona Pathway or to make a donation, visit www.shabbonapathway.com.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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