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HARVEY – State Senators Emil Jones III and Napoleon Harris joined the Illinois Department of Transportation and other community leaders at the groundbreaking of the $94 million reconstruction project of Wood Street/Ashland Avenue that runs through Harvey, Dixmoor and Riverdale aiming to modernize infrastructure and making critical investments to support and uplift nearby communities.

“The progress happening on Wood Street through 138th, thanks to Rebuild Illinois, is long overdue,” said Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago). “Our community shares so much affluent history and it’s time that our streets and roads reflect this beauty. By advancing our transportation, storm sewer systems, railroads, landscaping and more, we will create greater opportunities for economic growth, and community development and expansion.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation will be reconstructing more than three miles of roadway, completely rebuilding the four-lane road to include new curbs, gutters and lighting. The project will also improve capacity, modernize traffic signals and turn lanes, implement smoother and safer railroad crossings, and include landscaping and aesthetic enhancements.

The bridge over the Little Calumet River will be rehabilitated, and bike and pedestrian accommodations will be added throughout the corridor. The project also includes a new storm sewer system to address longtime drainage and flooding concerns, and the replacement of municipal water mains.

“Whether it’s paving our streets, improving lighting, building sidewalks, or just improving road safety, our multi-year infrastructure plan helps our communities move forward while building an equitable transportation system for all,” said State Senator Napoleon Harris, III (D-Harvey). “All of our streets are a crucial link in our neighborhood, especially Wood Street, which is why we are enhancing its safety for all of our families in Harvey, Dixmoor, Riverdale and surrounding communities.”

As part of a financing arrangement, IDOT is designating $3.6 million in federal credits to help communities reach their financial commitment for the project. Graduates of the Highway Construction Careers Training Program will be working on the project, an IDOT-initiative partnering with South Suburban College in South Holland and Kennedy-King College in Chicago to provide minority and female students the opportunity to get on-the-job experience toward full-time work and a career in the construction trades.

The entire project is expected to finish in 2025.