PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Park District and city leaders on Tuesday announced the extension of the Rock Island Greenway, a section of the Rock Island Trail that passes through Peoria.

The Rock Island Greenway was extended to Park Street by repurposing a former railroad trestle over War Memorial Drive, and added another half-mile of trail.

“We’ve been trying to get it done for quite some time and it was finally accomplished. That’s what we’re celebrating today,” said Mike Rucker, chairman of Trail Advocates of Central Illinois, a group that advocates for the improvement of bike recreation availability, accessibility and safety.

Rucker said the extension will provide more accessibility to downtown Peoria.

“It’s very important, because previously people would have to go through Springdale Cemetery. It’s got a lot of hills and it’s inconvenient, it’s longer. So people will now be able to go straight across War Memorial Drive and get closer to downtown,” he said.

Rucker added the trail is good for community development too. He said homeowners often cite having nearby bike trails as an important decision factor.

He said the group’s next goal is to get the trail extended directly to the river.