Armour Road and IL Route 50

Traffic travels south along Illinois Route 50 at Armour Road earlier this year. County officials say big changes are coming to the roadway.

The Kankakee County Board unanimously approved a resolution that transfers the jurisdiction of the intersection of Armour Road and Illinois Route 50 from the state to the county.

The Illinois Department of Transportation is preparing plans and specifications for the reconstruction of the intersection. According to IDOT, the jurisdictional agreements involve the county, Bourbonnais Township and the village of Bourbonnais. IDOT will only have jurisdiction over the railroad overpass on Armour Road.

“The county will take over jurisdiction from Route 50 to Locke Drive which is currently an unmarked state route,” said Mark Rogers, Kankakee County engineer at Tuesday’s Board meeting. “The same thing is going to happen on the west side of [Route] 50 from 50 going west to the railroad bridge [overpass]. That’s going to be taken over by Bourbonnais Township.”

The improvement of the intersection at Illinois Route 50 and Armour Road has a program cost estimated at $7.5 million, said Dave Broviak, District 3 studies & plans engineer for IDOT, when contacted by phone by the Daily Journal. In addition to the reconstruction of the intersection, the replacement of the bridge structure carrying Armour Road over the Canadian National railroad tracks just west of Route 50 has a program cost estimated at $5.4 million.

Bid letting for the intersection and train overpass projects on Armour is June 11.

Rogers said IDOT needed the letter of intent saying that county would accept jurisdictional transfer and pay its fair share of the project.

“Things are progressing, very quickly at times and slowly at other times,” Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler. “It’s looking like things are going to happen. It’s just a matter of when.”

He added the county will likely have to pay for sidewalks and some lighting as part of its match.

“I think it’s going to be mostly [Metropolitan Planning Organization] money, if not all,” Wheeler said.

As far as ongoing maintenance of the intersection, the county will do the snow plowing.

The reconstructed intersection will have two through lanes in every direction, two dedicated left turn lanes in every direction and one dedicated right turn lane in every direction. The four-way stop sign on Armour Road in front of CSL Behring will be replaced with a stop light that will be synchronized with the stop lights at Armour Road and Illinois 50 for improved traffic flow.

Sidewalks will also be constructed on both sides of Armour Road.

Broviak said both projects are slated to begin construction in June 2022.

Associate Editor

Chris Breach is the Associate Editor of The Daily Journal and the editor of the business section. A graduate of Indiana University, Breach has more than 25 years experience in newspapers. He can be reached at cbreach@daily-journal.com.