Springfield, IL… On Tuesday, State Representative Lindsay Parkhurst (R-Kankakee), met with the head of the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), Randy Blankenhorn, to advocate for local transportation projects including a much needed upgrade to the I-57 and IL-17 interchange.
“When I took office in January, this was one of the first projects shared with me by Kankakee Mayor Nina Epstein because of the hugely beneficial impact it will have on Kankakee and Bradley-Bourbonnais businesses and the development of my entire district,” Rep. Parkhurst said.
The project in question will open up the 312 exit to Kankakee off I-57 to allow for truck traffic. The city of Kankakee requested an upgrade to the interchange well over a decade ago and the need for improvements lingered and languished in discussions since 2001. The discussions stalled in 2013.
“In addition to bringing the interchange up to current IDOT safety and regulation standards, this exit expansion will usher in further economic development to the district,” Rep. Parkhurst continued. “Today trucks avoid this intersection because of the tight turn radius, yet this area is ripe for new economic development. Everything is in place; we just need improved access at the intersection of Routes 57 and 17. These improvements are an important selling point to businesses looking to relocate to our district, including Hoekstra Transportation and Ricky Rockets Fuel Center.”
Rep. Parkhurst initiated the meeting with the head of IDOT, representatives from the Governor’s office, and Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong to jump start the project. At the meeting, Rep. Parkhurst advocated for it to be included in IDOT’s 5 year funding plan for FY2018-2022 and Blankenhorn agreed to do a site visit this fall.
In addition to this interchange, Rep. Parkhurst is actively negotiating with IDOT on other local transportation projects.