SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Bike paths in Rockford and Freeport will benefit from hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of grants from the state.

Gov. JB Pritzker’s office announced a total of $2,161,000 in grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to help communities improve 13 local bike paths throughout the state.

“Bicycle path projects are excellent drivers of job creation and economic development, while also increasing road safety for bicyclists,” Governor Pritzker said. “Illinois’ beautiful natural landscape should be accessible and safe for all to enjoy, and I’m pleased that projects like this help make that goal a reality.”

Rockford Park District, Sports Core Recreation Path Rehabilitation – $146,000

The proposed project consists of the replacement of the one-mile-long Sports Core Recreation Path to improve access for maintenance. Removing and replacing the path will allow the path to be repaired to provide appropriate drainage. Four bridges along the path will be treated to remove rust to prevent loss. It is anticipated that replacing the curved portion of the path will reduce safety concerns related to maintenance. Repairing the bridges will prolong their useful life and allow the path to remain open.

Freeport Park District, Krape Park Bike Path Project – $200,000

The proposed project will be a 10-foot-wide bike path that runs just over a half mile, winding along the beautiful Yellow Creek and offering natural connections to local and regional bike paths throughout the area. The Freeport Park District’s project includes a small parking area for trail users.