Funding for I-80, I-55, Children’s Advocacy Center and More
“We’re glad to have a capital bill from Springfield that addresses some of our most pressing regional needs,” said Will County Board Speaker Denise Winfrey (D-Joliet). “Funding for I-80 improvements to repair bridges and widen the interstate through Joliet is critical to our region as the largest inland port in the nation.”
I-55 improvements include $23.5 million to resurface the highway from I-80 south to Weber Road as well as $4.7 million for resurfacing and bridge repairs between U.S. Route 30 and Illinois 126 in Joliet and Plainfield.
“With the new State infrastructure bill passing, we are happy to see some of the money used for projects in Will County,” said Will County Board Member Ray Tuminello (R-New Lenox). “Will County is one of the fastest growing counties in the region and we’re glad to see the state invest in our local infrastructure.”
Other road improvements include $75.7 million for widening and reconstruction of U.S. route 52 from River Road to Houbolt Road in Joliet and Shorewood. Illinois Route 53 will also see $50 million of investment between Arsenal Road and U.S. 52 including pedestrian and bicycle improvements.
Also included in the capital bill is $400,000 for traffic light improvements at Weber Road and South Carillon Drive. Population growth, a new interchange at I-55 and the widening of Weber Road over the last few years has created a need for a new traffic light to increase safety.
“Will County is a booming metro area,” said Winfrey. “We’ve become a major economic driver in Illinois, and we appreciate Governor Pritzker’s attention to our region. These investments will pay big dividends to the entire region’s economy.”
The state is prepared to help Will County with the demolition of the old Will County Courthouse by providing $1 million for the project. The county looked into repurposing the building but investigations into the feasibility of renovating the structure were cost prohibitive and the County Board decided that the best option was to demolish the building once services were transferred to the new courthouse.
Will County is also slated to get $5.1 million for improvements to Spring Creek and Hickory Creek which will help the county in flood mitigation. Both creeks funnel into the Des Plaines River and have long been a source of flooding. The resources from the new capital bill will continue the improvements that have been ongoing for decades.
“Things are changing and Will County has a lot of infrastructure projects that need to be accomplished to keep up with the growth we’re experiencing,” said Will County Board Member and Capital Improvements Committee Chair Herb Brooks. “Businesses and families are investing in Will County and it’s great to see the Illinois do the same.”
The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center will also receive $312,500 from the capital bill. The Children’s Advocacy Center is a nonprofit that relies on a blend of donations, and funding from all levels of government to provide counseling services to children who have been abused. With help from the Will County Board, the Children’s Advocacy Center recently expanded services to Eastern Will County, opening a satellite office in the Village of Steger.