The City Council of the City of Joliet has announced the official reopening of North Chicago Street in downtown Joliet. The announcement has been made by the Council in partnership with the Joliet City Center Partnership, Will County Board of Commissioners, Will County Executive, and Joliet Chamber of Commerce.
Bob O’Dekirk, the mayor of Joliet, said, “This is an exciting day for all of Joliet as we reopen an iconic street in the heart of downtown Joliet.” He added that the reopening of this area of the Street further ensured the redevelopment of the entire corridor. He admired the collaboration between the elected officials to make this happen.
“The negotiations we had with Will County regarding the new courthouse and opening Chicago Street show what can happen when elected officials decide to work together,” added O’Dekirk. The mayor of Joliet thanked the government of Will County for its strong cooperation.
Chicago Street served as the main street through the heart of the City for many decades. It became Route 66 in 1926 that solidified the iconic nature of the street. The City of Joliet decided to work on the redevelopment of downtown Joliet. It was the priority of the City of Joliet to reopen Chicago Street as there are various civic institutions located at this route. The redevelopment project had a budget of $3 million under Rebuild Illinois grant funds.
O’Dekirk also talked about the importance of the reopening of Chicago Street. “Reopening the southern end of Chicago Street will allow traffic to travel more easily through downtown Joliet,” he said. He appreciated the efforts of those who were involved in this redevelopment project. He called it a “momentous occasion” in the history of the City of Joliet. The ribbon-cutting ceremony of the reopening was held on November 16, 2020. O’Dekirk, Jen Howard, the president of the Joliet Chamber of Commerce, Jim Hock, the interim city manager, Denise Winfrey, a Will County Executive, and Megan Millen, the chairwoman of the Joliet City Center Partnership, attended the ceremony.