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Will County to receive more than $54 million in funding from IDOT Competitive Freight Grant Program
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Will County to receive more than $54 million in funding from IDOT Competitive Freight Grant Program

This week, Will County officials learned that two significant projects within the county will receive more than $54 million from the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Competitive Freight Program. This program, funded by the federal government, was designed to help communities across the state implement goals identified in the Illinois State Freight Plan. Illinois allocated a total of more than $240 million in federal funds for these projects.

“The funds awarded to Will County will be used for two key projects that are important in managing our position as North America’s largest inland port,” said Will County Executive Larry Walsh. “I want to personally thank Ann Schneider who has been leading the Will County Freight Study efforts which identified the critical needs of our county’s transportation infrastructure.”

Walsh also noted the joint efforts between the Executive’s office, the Will County CED and the private sector, the Will County Governmental league and IDOT played a significant role in winning this competitive grant. These partnerships have been critical to focusing both the public and private stakeholders on collaborative efforts.

The total cost of the reconstruction project at the Interstate 80 and U.S. Route 30 interchange is $43 million. The grant will contribute more than $34 million to this IDOT District 1 - led project which has been noted for its history of large bottlenecks and safety concerns. Will County strongly supported this project as part of a comprehensive effort to address safety and traffic along issues along I-80. The interchange handles a lot of truck traffic from the local intermodal facilities and ever growing commuter populations in the communities in the Lincoln-Way area.

In addition, more than $20 million was awarded to Plainfield for the 143rd Street extension.

This project, which totals nearly $30 million, will be part of the re-routing of traffic from IL Route 126 and is being led by the village.

“Both of these projects are in highly populated areas of our county,” Walsh said. “When finished, these improvements will improve traffic flow along these roadways. We are very thankful to IDOT for recognizing the importance of these projects to the region.”

Will County completed an IDOT-funded Community Friendly Freight Mobility Plan in September 2017 which was a comprehensive look at freight movements throughout the Will County region. The plan addresses freight movements, quality of life issues, workforce challenges, and passenger mobility. The plan is the basis for a series of action orientated steps to continue to improve roads throughout the Will County Region.

More information on the Freight Plan can be found at www.willcountyfreight.org

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