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Local News

Joliet train station appears to be back on track

JOLIET – City officials are looking forward again to spring construction on a future train station with the latest stumbling block in the project apparently overcome.

Joliet Economic Development Director Steve Jones said he will wait for the paperwork to arrive before he is certain, but it appears that the state will continue to employ the construction management contractor on the project.

Jones two weeks ago told the City Council that Joliet could be on the hook for $660,000 to keep the contractor on the job because the state was considering pulling out.

On Tuesday, Jones told the council that the Illinois Department of Transportation is now doing the paperwork to extend the contract with T.Y. Lin International.

“Until I get that all on my desk, I’ll still have a little bit of anxiety,” Jones said later.

The state provided a $30 million grant for what was originally a $42 million project. Increased costs have put the project at $50 million, and the city has put on hold a bus station that was in the original plan.

T.Y. Lin has a contract with the state to oversee the project. But that contract had been jeopardized because of the state’s budget problems, Jones said.

Joliet would have to consider taking on the costs of a construction management contractor if the state pulled out. Now, if the state proceeds as expected, Jones said, construction on a train station and Heritage Corridor commuter platform should “get going by the end of spring so we have a full construction season.”

The train station is scheduled to be completed in 2017.

Jones said state officials on Friday are expected to sign off on a $16 million contract with Walsh Construction to build the station and commuter platform.

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