Road construction

Daily Journal staff report

Kankakee County now has another $2 million to help with infrastructure projects as part of the second round of Rebuild Illinois grants announced Thursday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Transportation.

This second round includes grants totaling $250 million that the state has awarded to address local transportation needs. In the first round of grants, announced a week ago, Kankakee and Iroquois counties received a total of nearly $165 million for four large transportation projects.

In Thursday’s announcement, several local entities received grants including the following: Kankakee County, $635,518.67; city of Kankakee, $302,466.11; Bourbonnais, $302,466.11; Bradley, $174,590.51; and Manteno, $101,096.64.

Tops among the county’s 17 townships were Norton with $44,395.21, Pilot with $42,823.50, Momence with $36,357, Pembroke with $35,329.81 and Otto with $33,163.09.

Iroquois County government bodies received a total of $1.3 million with the county itself awarded $231,031.73. Other entities receiving funds included Watseka with $57,720.86, Gilman with $19,924.96, Clifton with $16,124.50, Onarga with $15,026.10, Milford with $14,345.09 and Chebanse with $11,665.

Eligible projects include road and bridge improvements, traffic signal upgrades, new storm sewers and bike paths, sidewalk replacement and other long-term maintenance needs. Projects will be selected and managed locally with IDOT oversight.

“For too long, Illinois has relied on legacy infrastructure investments without tending to them properly to maintain our status as a transportation hub for the nation. Rather than build on our storied history and strong foundation, our critical infrastructure has been allowed to deteriorate,” Pritzker said in a release.

“Thanks to dedicated funding in the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois plan, we’re investing in our roads and bridges and cementing our leadership position as a global transportation powerhouse.”

The local component of the Rebuild Illinois grant program is distributed via the state motor fuel tax formula, which resulted in an additional $860 million for counties, municipalities and townships in the past fiscal year alone.

“In Illinois, we don’t have just state or local roads and bridges, but one system of transportation that stretches across all modes and involves multiple partners working together,” Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman said.

Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing a total $33.2 billion into the state’s aging transportation system that includes: roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

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