Cedar Park Pedestrian Underpass
The Village of Palatine has initiated the process to design and reconstruct Palatine Road between Smith Street and Quentin Road. The engineers assigned to the project will most likely be targetting a 3 lane cross section (one lane in each direction with a by-directional center turning lane). As part of the project, sidewalks and/or sidepaths will be built along both sides of the road and a closed drainage system with curbs & gutters will be installed in areas where there currently are open swales. Additionaly, they will assess the need for a new traffic light at the Cedar Street intersection, as well as additional turning and/or through lanes at the intersection with Quentin Road.
The project presents a rare and unique opportunity for the inclusion of a bicycle underpass related to the probable reconstruction of the box culvert where Salt Creek goes under Palatine Road. This culvert is located a block and a half west of Cedar Street with Cedar Park abutting its south end and vacant land to its north. This potentially simple and low-cost add-on improvement would allow for the future construction of a greenway trail along the Salt Creek that could ultimately connect Marion Jordon Elementary School and Wally Degner Park on the west end of Palatine with locations around downtown Palatine, including Margreth Riemer Reservoir Park, Paddock Elementary School and the Smith St/Greenley St. connector trail on the east end. The existing Palatine Trail has long been a tremendous asset for the residents of Palatine who live north of the railroad tracks. This was all due to a public official suggesting to IDOT that they add a 3rd tunnel conveying Salt Creek under at Hicks Road when it was widened in the late 1970s. With this current underpass opportunity, the resulting greenway trail would be a tremendous asset to the community and would bring fairness to the residents south of the track who have long lacked safe connections between residential areas and popular destinations within the community.