A groundbreaking ceremony held Oct. 29 at Rockwell Lane in Plainfield signaled another chapter in the multiyear, multijurisdictional Normantown Trail project.
The Forest Preserve District of Will County will extend the trail 0.85-mile from 111th Street in Naperville south to Rockwell Lane in Plainfield at a cost of $300,000. The project may be completed by July, though weather and other factors could affect the timeline.
Normantown Trail is an important link in the region’s trail network, said Plainfield Mayor Michael P. Collins, who noted that the trail will eventually link to the DuPage River Trail, and someday that path will extend all the way to Channahon.
The groundbreaking drew members of the Naperville Bicycle Club.
The trail link is a welcome addition because of its proximity to residential and commercial areas, according to bike club President Daryl Monge.
Normantown Trail planning began in the mid-2000s when Naperville vacated, or gave up, its section of the underutilized Normantown Road.
While the road is remaining intact in some areas, other sections are being narrowed, including the extension about to get underway.
“We will be basically cutting a 10-foot section of this trail, milling off the top surface and then overlaying that with new asphalt,” Andrew Hawkins, the forest preserve’s director of planning and development, said in a news release.
The northern 1.5-mile section of Normantown Trail is in place from Vermont Cemetery Preserve to 111th Street.
The southern section of the trail, from 127th Street to 135th Street, also has been completed.
The village of Plainfield and the Plainfield Park District plan to create a 2.2-mile section of the shared-road trail in the middle – from 119th Street to 127th Street – in a year or two, said Jonathan Proulx, the village’s planning director.
And a 0.15-mile segment of the trail will remain shared road so vehicles can continue to access Rockwell Lane from 111th Street.
Once completed, Normantown Trail will extend 4.7 miles from Wolf’s Crossing Road in Naperville to 135th Street in Plainfield, and it will link two of the district’s preserves: Vermont Cemetery and Wolf Creek.