Construction will soon come to an end on the planned recreational trails along Wilmor Road, a Washington Park District project about five years in the making.



“In a way, we see a little bit of light in the end of the tunnel,” said Doug Damery, executive director of the park district. “For the most part, we’ve actually made a complete loop, which was a big priority for us. We think that we should get this work done in the next few weeks.”


Construction will soon come to an end on the planned recreational trails along Wilmor Road, a Washington Park District project about five years in the making.

“In a way, we see a little bit of light in the end of the tunnel,” said Doug Damery, executive director of the park district. “For the most part, we’ve actually made a complete loop, which was a big priority for us. We think that we should get this work done in the next few weeks.”

In total, the Wilmor Road project cost about $170,000 and included connecting the expanded sidewalks from the area near Five Points Washington to the ending location just past Hardees.

With the recreational trails along Kern road also complete, the addition of the Wilmor Road trails will create the first connected loop on the east side of town, Damery said.

While actual construction only took about a month, Damery said the project had to overcome many hurdles, like negotiating with Hardees Corp. to allow construction to take place near the restaurant.

“We had to do some convincing,” Damery said, adding that it was difficult because its parking lot goes right up to the curb.

More recently, they had to rework construction plans near CVS Pharmacy because the business had built a utility electrical box right in the trail’s path.

“We had to reroute around that electrical box,” Damery said.

During construction along Wilmor Road, the park district also fixed the recreational trails near Mallard Crossing, just south of Kingsbury Road, said Damery. That area, located behind a lake, was experiencing problems of overflowing water sitting on the trail.

To fix the problem, they poured four inches of concrete on the existing asphalt, said Damery. The construction cost about $25,000.

“Now, the water is running underneath it as opposed to running over it,” said Damery, who recently went out to check it firsthand. “We fixed it so hopefully people will enjoy that again.”

Damery said the park district has plans to connect other areas of town and possibly even to expand the trails to nearby cities.

“Eventually, what our goal would be is to actually become an alternative transportation route,” Damery said. “Right now, it’s more of a fitness benefit.”

There has also been discussion about making a northern loop on Cruger Road that connects to North Cummings Lane, he said.

“Ultimately, this will never end,” he said. “Very long term, we’d love to connect to East Peoria.”

The park district has worked with the city to make many of these trails possible. City planner Jon Oliphant said the city has their sights set on constructing the recreational trails on North Cummings Lane, where road construction is now complete.

“That’s the primary one at this point,” Oliphant said, adding that they recently applied for a grant to start construction. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed that we get it.”