Kankakee Valley Construction Company has been awarded a $8.2 million stipend for the already-announced Illinois Route 17 widening project.
Gov. Pat Quinn's office sent out a news release Thursday announcing the two-year widening and resurfacing project. The 3.3-mile segment of Route 17 West out to the Limestone School Road in Limestone will be widened and resurfaced.
A 13-foot wide center turn lane will be added through the entire stretch of highway and 8-foot-wide shoulders also will be added on each side. The entire segment will receive a new asphalt surface.
The workforce is reportedly getting better. And the technology department at Kankakee Community College is playing a role.
The manufacturing technology program at KCC is producing graduates in four separate specializations needed at area companies. The program is in place through a $525,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, which helped the community college refine its efforts with industry.
"Industry helped design it," said Dennis Sorensen, KCC's vice president for instructional and student success. "It provides multiple opportunities for students to qualify for the workforce."
The Daily-Journal reports the federal government announced a second round of grants totaling $450 million, some of which KCC is hopeful to receive. Sorensen said a consortium of Illinois community colleges will be applying for the grants together. But this time, the health careers program will be added to the request along with manufacturing technology.
Sorensen adds, the grant money helps the community college redesign the way it offers courses and helps update and purchase equipment needed to support the programs.
KCC now offers four, two-year courses of manufacturing specializations.
The Illinois Department of Transportation is suspending non-emergency road work this weekend to improve traffic flow. The Easter holiday weekend will find many projects on-hold through midnight Sunday.
Included are road projects in Iroquois, Kankakee, Livingston and Vermilion counties.
One lane is closed in each direction on I-57 where there's a Bridge Deck Replacement at Chebanse..
There are two Bridge replacement projects in Kankakee along I-57.
I-55 has a Bridge repair effort in Livingston County. In Vermilion County, U-S 136/Main Street in Danville has eastbound traffic slowed by a road improvement project.
Rep. Harms, GOP lawmakers object to 9-0 vote for Obama library
Republican lawmakers, including State Representative Josh Harms (Watseka) are protesting after an Illinois House committee recorded a 9-0 vote to commit $100 million for President Barack Obama's library and museum. That vote was even though the committee's four GOP members weren't there.
Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein says he didn't expect a vote during Thursday's hearing.
Sullivan says "the legacy of the Obama presidential library shouldn't be kicked off in a cloud of controversy."
Rep Josh Harms said the state can't even pay its bills for schools and maintaining roads. Harms said "the state has no business spending money on a presidential library that should be funded with private funds."
Lawmakers approved the money to sweeten Chicago's bid for the library.
Democrats used the roll call from a Wednesday hearing on gambling as the vote for the library. No one objected. A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says if there's a problem the committee will reconvene and vote again.