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*** UPDATED x1 *** This is totally unacceptable, IDOT

Monday, Apr 8, 2019

* Kankakee Daily Journal

CSL Behring is in the early phases of a 1.8 million-square-foot expansion which will easily require an investment far north of $1 billion.

Although employment projections have not been publicized yet, there is speculation it could come close to doubling the existing 1,600-member workforce.

The Australian-based pharmaceutical company has not asked for a penny of financial assistance or tax breaks from any governmental body.

It has made one seemingly simple request. This request was made 16 months ago, and as of this week, it still has not been satisfied.

CSL wants a traffic light put at its pending new entrance at the intersection at the Lowe’s Hardware store. The company has told the Illinois Department of Transportation it will pay for the stoplight.

Incredibly, a state thirsting for manufacturing development has yet to OK what seems to be a simple request. […]

Abell said CSL is making the largest investment anywhere in the state and perhaps beyond and yet, their request cannot be resolved.

“We can’t get a three-way light to become a four-way light.” […]

Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler said he’s been calling IDOT in Springfield, local state political leaders and anyone else he can think of to get the situation rectified.

I’d have to ban myself from my own blog if I wrote what I really think about this level of ineptitude.

*** UPDATE *** It should never have come to this, but I’m glad to see it’s finally being “expedited.” From Sen. Toi Hutchinson’s Facebook page...

This afternoon, I reached out to the Illinois Department of Transportation to receive an update on the situation with CSL Behring’s expansion plans in Bradley.

I was assured the stoplight project would be approved and the agency is currently working to expedite that approval.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - JS Mill - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    Are you (banned words) kidding me?

    Team Pritzker- this is absolute low hanging fruit. Jump on this yesterday.

  2. - Big Joe - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:52 pm:

    I agree with you, Rich. Seems like a no-brainer to me. I wonder if JB would agree?

  3. - FormerParatrooper - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    Geeze, this has to be the most simple to do.

  4. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:57 pm:

    Yet again, managing to under-achieve. Just what does work in this state? Perhaps a timely memo from JB,”Get the stoplight in or get out of your job, your choice!

  5. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    I was born in Kankakee. That area has been hit with more hard times than anyone can count. To see this sort of rank disregard for people in such dire need of jobs just drives me up a wall.

  6. - wordslinger - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:58 pm:

    A couple of GA members needs to get a little more personally involved in their districts.

    If you can’t sell this toot-sweet to either the Rauner or Pritzker administrations, what’s your purpose?

  7. - Duke of Normandy - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 1:59 pm:

    (puts on tinfoil hat) makes me wonder if someone doesn’t want CSL Behring to come and why?

  8. - Anon - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    16 months ago, hmmm. I assume this is why most of the staff from that period remains on board after 4 month with a new administration.

  9. - frustratd GOP - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    It’s good to know that IDOT is a equal opportunity screwer. it is amazing that the Rauner admin hadn’t in 4 yers figured out how to improve the speed of this stuff. You know he had private business management experience and was going to change the State. Not so much so.
    I had to put a light in on a State hwy, it only took 4 years to get through IDOT. I was told I had the good division to work with.

  10. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:01 pm:

    Paging Representative Parkhurst. Chairman Wheeler is on line one. Please go to the nearest white courtesy phone.

  11. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    At the risk of defending, adding 1600 employees (cars), to an intersection would likely need a completely widened intersection, and not just adding a couple of signal posts. Who is paying for the new turn lanes and right-of-way?

  12. - frustrated GOP - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:06 pm:

    I worked on putting a light on a State hwy, it took 3 years. They’re 1/2 through the process. amazing the level of stupidity.
    Goes to show ya, elect who you want, the guys sitting in the desks run it as slow as they always have.

  13. - ChrisB - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:08 pm:

    “Well, it’s one more street, isn’t it? It’s not three. You see, most lights, you know, will be three way intersections. You’re on three here, all the way up, all the way up, all the way up, you’re on three on your traffic flow. Where can you go from there? Where?” - IDOT probably.

  14. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    === would likely need===

    Meh. Just put the freaking light up and worry about the rest of it later, already.

  15. - Fav human - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:10 pm:

    ” who is paying”

    The people who will get the new jobs
    .. Can you say “added revenue’

  16. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    While this kind of improvement might take some time and money to complete, you would think IDOT would be able to indicate whether or not they plan to move forward on the project within a few months.

  17. - Annonin' - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:13 pm:

    Hey let’s drop in a bill mandatin’ a light. Love to see what the fruits of an FOI would bring…who wrote who, who called, GovJunk’s personal intervention while he wandered to state workin’ on his message.

  18. - Smalls - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:22 pm:

    This is not unique to this situation. It happens every day in Illinois, and it has a very negative financial effect on the state. Developers sit and wait on IDOT to review something, which takes at best months, but usually years. Much of the time, the developers just walk away from the project. Or they just won’t even consider a project that will require IDOT approval.

  19. - PublicServant - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:39 pm:

    This from the same people who put up a “BUMP” sign instead of just fixing the bump…

  20. - Donnie Elgin - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    Call in George Ryan, never was there a stronger supporter for the Kanakee area,

  21. - What's in a name? - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:44 pm:

    Nit hard to put up a temporary light and worry about capacity later. What’s the saying, “Don’t let striving for perfection prevent improvement.” That’s not the saying but the message is there.

  22. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:47 pm:

    As a Springfield resident, I don’t remember it taking nearly that long for LRS to get their traffic light on Monroe.

  23. - Bogey Golfer - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 2:50 pm:

    This is a permit issue and is typically handled at the District / Region level, not in Springfield. Kankakee is in District 3 (Ottawa).

  24. - Silent Budgeteer - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:00 pm:

    @Steve Rogers:
    I think that was a local project, and since Dick Levi (the L in LRS) was then-Mayor Davlin’s campaign funds guy, it was a returned favor. The alderman for the ward (Irv Smith) said he was never approached about the need for a light and was a bit put out that no one had approached him first (as was usually done).

  25. - Drinking Game - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    Ah the state government Drinking Game, remember if they blame the “hollowing out” of government, everyone does an extra shot.

  26. - OneMan - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    I guess their mistake was not asking for a bunch of TIFF stuff and all of that, then there could be a press hit with bigwigs and golden shovels all of that crap.

    No one is going to cover a stop-light.

  27. - Annonin' - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:17 pm:

    How about we get together on Friday, steal one of thousands of unnecessary signals scattered around SPI and install it in Kankakee.
    Oh we need to go by IDOT on the way out of town and pencil it into the 5 year plan.

  28. - Huh? - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    The red tape is being cut.

  29. - Amalia - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    whose street where? could the municipality put up the light? is it a state road so state light? it’s so confusing for the public when a road is a state or county road. most believe it is a job for the municipality. (is there a way to shift funds around to change THAT?) local officials should find a way to get it done.

  30. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    IDOT used to be one of the most innovative dots and is now one of the least.
    Look at the 125 widening. They should include some passing lanes to stop unsafe passing. It would cost nothing just paint the lines differently.
    I am really reluctant to give them a blank check in the capital bill.

  31. - Levivotedfor Judy - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:40 pm:

    Where is Intersect Illinois when you need them?

  32. - Generic Drone - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:43 pm:


  33. - Chad Hays - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 3:57 pm:

    The Danville area lost a new Honda plant because of very similar refusal to respond on a timely basis to a myriad of questions/requests by the then Blago Administration. It was physically painful to witness the ineptitude as hundreds of jobs that were desperately needed hung in the balance.

    Indiana’s response to almost every question/request: “When do you need it?” That is the right answer.

    One guess who celebrated their 10th anniversary in Indiana a couple of years ago?

  34. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:02 pm:

    I’m actually surprised by this. IDOT has been one of the few agencies that actually functioned during the Rauner years.

  35. - 47th Ward - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===is it a state road so state light===

    I believe this is for Kinzie Street, which is state Route 50. If I am reading this correctly, there is already a three-way light because the new facility site had been vacant. Now they need to connect the site to the road and a new light is needed.

    Definitely the state’s road.

  36. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    ===few agencies that actually functioned===


    That agency has always been like this.

  37. - NorthsideNoMore - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:18 pm:

    DIST 1 Planning / Permits dept better get on this. They are notorious for feet dragging (or as they might counter saying they are going by the book). Typical response “if we make an exception for this one we will have to do it elsewhere, then it becomes policy ?”
    “Illinois we are sort of open for busniess unless you need a traffic variance.” Ugh

  38. - Wylie Coyote - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:31 pm:

    Traffic lights are easy. Don’t ever ask IDOT for a curb cut…..

  39. - NorthsideNoMore - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:38 pm:

    Coyote @4:31== Is that ever true… 8 months to get a 8ft variance at an half undeveloped intersection. Engineers, sheesh.

  40. - Shemp - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    IDOT may be the most infuriating State department. They are black and white on everything. I’ve been in a room with 6 engineers to review Phase 1 of an ITEP bike path grant application. But they are also do as we say, not as we do, which can be infuriating.

  41. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 4:54 pm:

    Yep Shemp. They are a department that would benefit from a wave of retirements.. I know of an outside engineer that suggested alternating passing lanes to inexpensive solve a bunch of head on collisions. I am told IDiot looked at him like he was from Mars….while Missouri does this when they have money

  42. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 5:09 pm:


    LOL In the words of Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  43. - Nonbeleiver - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 5:24 pm:

    I was assured the stoplight project would be approved and the agency is currently working to expedite that approval.

    Don’t worry, the check is in the mail!

  44. - Annon3 - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 5:48 pm:

    May be if the Governor had appointed a Secretary of Transportation earlier it would have been a god start 🤷‍♂️

  45. - Faust James - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 5:55 pm:

    They have probably been spending their time on planning what to do with their pension money.

  46. - Stuntman Bob's Brother - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 6:05 pm:

    I’ll see your stoplight and raise you a left turn lane, if it makes sense. Maybe IDOT should add a second “I” to their acronym.

  47. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 9:17 pm:

    There are roadgeeks really and the IDOT acronym always has the extra i.

  48. - Not a Billionaire - Monday, Apr 8, 19 @ 9:19 pm:

    They never figured out how to get past the end of the supplementary freeway system.

  49. - NoGifts - Tuesday, Apr 9, 19 @ 7:09 am:

    Incredibly, you don’t just throw up a traffic light every time someone asks for one because everyone wants one. It has to be needed, and after it is up it has to be maintained so it’s not just once and done. IDOT has a lot of dedicated people who are trying to do things the right way. The right way isn’t always the way peoples’ “guts” believe.

  50. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 9, 19 @ 8:36 am:

    So…um…if a business tries to do what everyone wants and invests using its own capital, the business gets railroaded for over a year. Meanwhile, Sears, Caterpillar, ADM, Foxxconn, Amazon, and countless others act like they are free agents in sports and demand the best perks to come in. And those are the ones everyone is pressuring the state to give in to.

    Are we in the Upside Down for real??????

    One phone call to IDOT from JB. Goes something like this…

    “Hi - IDOT. I just thought I would let you know that tomorrow at 3:00 pm, I am holding a press conference in Bradley announcing the expansion of this project. And I am guaranteeing a complete reconfiguration of the stop-lights and intersection to meet the needs of the traffic flow for all in the area for safety and to ensure all the employees can get to work in a timely fashion. I will be telling everyone the project is already approved and that IDOT will be starting the project within the next 10 days.

    Have a good day!”


  51. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 9, 19 @ 8:40 am:

    @NoGifts - I completely agree with you that stop lights must be needed. But if 1,600 additional people are going to get jobs and need to get in and out of the area, that pretty much sounds like the light is needed. I appreciate that there is a proactive nature here. There was an accident involving a pedestrian in front of my work last year. IMMEDIATELY afterwards, road construction started. The road now has 4 speed humps, two stop lights, dedicated pedestrian crossing, and the road was widened to include turn lanes. The road is a city street not in a residential neighborhood. It is a reactionary project after someone was hurt.

    This isn’t a dig on IDOT. But it shouldn’t take 16 months to get this going.

  52. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 9, 19 @ 9:08 am:

    As someone who has worked on project requiring IDOT approval, I view this agency as one of the biggest obstacles to economic development in the state. The agency is completely inept and has caused countless problems in my work. On the other hand, the Toll Authority are rock stars.

  53. - Aaron B - Tuesday, Apr 9, 19 @ 11:37 am:

    I can understand that changing the traffic light where CSL wants may not be the best solution but the change is absolutely needed. Right now with 1600 current employees, traffic gets backed up horribly at a 4 way stop sign just west of Route 50. IDOT needs to let CSL pay for the updated traffic light and then figure out what can be done to make things better in the area to keep CSL Behring happy. I think that CSL and their ever expanding business is the best thing to have happened to the Kankakee/Bradley/Bourbonnais area in DECADES.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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