Nucor Steel plant manager Johnny Jacobs is excited that his plant will undergo a $180 million expansion and bring 75 new jobs to the area.

BOURBONNAIS — Bourbonnais will give Nucor Steel right of way access to part of McKnight Road as the steel company prepares for a $180 million expansion that will add 75 jobs to Kankakee County.

The village will vacate a portion of McKnight Road west of Dimicoo Drive so Nucor can build its new Merchant Bar Quality production operation. In return, Nucor will dedicate portions of land to the village so it can build a north-south road that connects county roads 5000N and 6000N.

Last month, the village disconnected some of its annexed property so Nucor’s new facility could be completely on Kankakee County grounds. Without the disconnection, Nucor would have been split between Bourbonnais and county parcels.

“The area has been very welcoming and supportive of our efforts,” Nucor general manager Johnny Jacobs said. “We have been able to bring great team members to our facility from this area. So, we are very excited to be here.”

As for Bourbonnais, the land swap is a move toward improving the upcoming Interstate 57 interchange area at Bourbonnais Parkway. The village plans on developing a 1,200-acre business and industrial park at the new interchange. A north-south road connecting county roads 5000N and 6000N would give potential businesses access to railroad services near the new interchange.

“This is something we have been trying to put together for 15 years,” Mayor Paul Schore said. “The moon and stars have lined up. When we get that together, it will be a big transportation enhancement not only for Bourbonnais and the interchange, but also Bradley and Manteno. Every time we have done public hearings about the interchange, people have asked what was going to happen there. Fortunately, we came to a win-win agreement with Nucor.”