King Middle Grade School crossing

King Middle Grade School students cross East Court Street with the help of crossing guards after school. The city of Kankakee and the school district are collaborating on a grant to make the area safer for children walking to and from school.

KANKAKEE — A school crossing, which should have been put in place 20 to 30 years ago, is finally about to happen.

Kankakee engineer Neil Piggush told Kankakee City Council members the projected $280,000 project at King Middle School will begin as soon as the current school year concludes and the hope is it will be complete at or near the start of the 2020-21 school year.

The project will include a concrete median, widened crosswalk, sidewalk improvements and flashing traffic signals alerting motorists to children being in the roadway before and after school.

Currently, the only warning to motorists are school crossing guards carrying signs and a portable sign alerting motorists to be cautious.

It was about a year ago when a former King student, Ty Alderson, was honored by Gov. J.B. Pritzker for alerting the city about the issue. After receiving the letter from Alderson, Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong then pushed to have the situation addressed and funding was later awarded.

Through the Safe Routes to School state grant, the city was awarded funds to cover the majority of the work.

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