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What Does Will County Get from the Capital Bill?

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By Will County Board Press Release

JOLIET—Will County is in line to get funding for several major projects after Governor Pritzker signed Illinois’ Capital Bill in Joliet on Friday. Those projects include I-80 bridge replacements and widening and improvements to I-55.

“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.”
The state is prepared to invest $1.2 billion on I-80. Multiple bridges are in desperate need of replacement including the highly trafficked bridge over the Des Plaines River. Because of the rapid growth in population and industry in Illinois, I-80 will also be widened through Joliet.

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.

Community

City Hires Firm To Search For Joliet City Manager

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WJOL

The search for a new Joliet City Manager has begun and the clock is ticking. The Joliet City Council on Tuesday voted 5-3 to hire Slavin Management Consultants. They said the process should be wrapped up within three months. Joliet Mayor Bob O’Dekirk is against the idea and said there are local candidates that can do the job. The cost of the search by the consultanting firm is just under $24,000.

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Joliet Police Reminding Residents Of Fines For Shooting Off Fireworks

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WJOL

As we get closer to July 4th, the Joliet Police Department is reminding everyone that the City of Joliet prohibits fireworks. The violation fines start at $500.

Besides being subject to a fine, fireworks can cause serious, even life threatening injuries. JPD is urging residents to please leave the fireworks to the professionals and attend a community planned event instead.

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Lisle Motorcyclist Killed In Crash In Romeoville

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WJOL

The Will County Coroner’s Office is reporting the death of James R. Keller, a 25 year old resident of Lisle, who was pronounced deceased at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, June 23rd 2020 at St. Joseph Medical Center in Joliet. Mr. Keller was the driver of a motorcycle that collided with another vehicle in the 400 Block of S. Weber Rd. in Romeoville. A Buick driver by a female driver from Romeoville who is 64 years of age and her passenger collided with the motorcycle near Blain’s Farm & Fleet. The driver and passenger in the Buick were not injured.

The Romeoville Police Department is investigating the incident. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday, June 24th, 2020.

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