Downtown streetscape project begins Monday

March 17, 2019

KANKAKEE — Work on the downtown Kankakee streetscape project begins Monday, and those who regularly travel through this area are asked to use alternative routes.

Kankakee Valley Construction crews will be closing the southbound lane in the 200 block of South Schuyler Avenue for the first phase of the $1.9 million project, which is not expected to be completed until mid- to late-summer.

The project includes improvements to the roadway, sidewalks and lighting.

The project has somewhat been controversial because of the loss of on-street parking on the east side of the 100 and 200 blocks of South Schuyler and the 100 block of North Schuyler, as well as installing biking lanes.

The ultimate goal of this plan is to create a more pedestrian- and biking-friendly environment.

Cameron Gerth, construction inspector for Piggush Engineering, will be overseeing the project for the city. He said motorists should look to Indiana Avenue or Washington Avenue as alternatives to Schuyler.

The project was slated to begin on March 1, but cold weather delayed the start by about three weeks.

The goal had been to have the entire project completed by the time of the Merchant Street MusicFest, set for the weekend of July 26-27. Gerth said he expects the South Schuyler portion of the project to be finished by that time.