Constitution Trail set to mark 25 years

Constitution Trail set to mark 25 years

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NORMAL — Next spring marks the 25th anniversary of the grand opening of Constitution Trail — a milestone that town planner Mercy Davison hopes to recognize with a variety of events, including a pictorial display at Uptown Station.

To that end, Davison is looking for photographs of the trail during construction, including removal of the rails along the former railroad line and installation of the hard surface.

Those who can share such photos are asked to contact her at mdavison@normal.org or 309-454-9590.

The trail was only 4.3 miles long when the grand opening took place on May 6, 1989. It began just west of Emerson and Linden streets in Bloomington, went north through Ewing Park to Jersey Avenue in Normal, then east past Veterans Parkway along GE Road.

Construction started after it was dedicated in September 1987 and the first portion was completed in late 1988.

Twin City officials debated about whether there should be a stripe down the middle; whether it should be gravel, paved or wood chips; and if it should be lighted or not.

Davison also has talked to residents about the concerns that were expressed when the idea for the trail was being considered.

Today, the trail is about 37 miles long with multiple legs, including the longest stretch from Croxton Avenue in Bloomington to Kerrick Road in Normal.

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