By Nick Miller
LEBANON – Years of hard work and persistence culminated in a ribbon cutting on Saturday morning to dedicate Lebanon’s newest bike trail.
The Trestle Trail, which begins at the end of East McAllister Street and runs for a quarter mile into Lebanon Township, has been the dream for the Gateway East Trails organization for a number of years. GET President Robert Wilhelm beamed with excitement as he spoke prior to the ceremony.
“Before today, exiting Lebanon to the west, south, or east was a very dangerous prospect. Highway 4 and 50 have heavy traffic and tight shoulders making them unsafe. Now we have a different way out. Ten years ago, a group of us met in the basement of the Visitors Center and decided this had to change,” Wilhelm said.
Wilhelm had nothing but praise for the other members of the organization and their hard work to bring the Trestle Trail to completion.
“I think this Trestle Trail is a lesson from God to show what even a small group of people can do when they work together as a team. I’ve had a great team of people to work with and they’ve always been so tremendous,” said Wilhelm.
Wilhelm praised the members of the Lebanon Township Board for their support of the Trestle Trail project.
“These guys have shown unwavering support. They’ve been through a lot and they’ve stood behind the trail and worked to support it all the way to its completion,” Wilhelm said.
The trail was completed with funds raised by the group’s annual event, the Tour de Stooges, a grant from the Metro East Parks and Recreation Department, donations from Christ Brothers Paving, and many other donors.
The event Saturday featured a ride and walk along the trail to Berkemann’s Baker’s Dozen in New Baden.
The bicycle enthusiasts continue to work to develop a trail to the west to connect Lebanon and O’Fallon.