The City of Kankakee welcomes you to the Virtual Public Meeting for the proposed improvements to Hobbie Avenue from Court Street (IL Route 17) to Fair Street (IL Route 50) Phase I Engineering Study. This website has been created to provide project information and solicit public comments. The virtual meeting will be conducted in an open house format where attendees will have the opportunity to review exhibits, provide input on the proposed improvement plan and submit questions or comments from January 20, 2021 to February 18, 2021. Interested persons may view the Virtual Public Meeting website at any time during the comment period. Please click here for a PDF copy of the project brochure.

Virtual Project Presentation

A live virtual project presentation was held via Zoom on February 4, 2021 at 6:30 p.m. to present project materials and provide the opportunity to talk directly to the project team and ask questions. A recording of the virtual Public Meeting is posted below. If you were unable to attend the meeting and you have questions, please submit an electronic comment (bottom of this page) or submit a comment form. The project team is available to set up 1-on-1 meetings to discuss the project and address any questions, comments or concerns.

Virtual Public Meeting

Below is a series of stations to take you through the project exhibits. Click on the exhibits to open the full-size file in a new window. Once open, you have the ability to zoom in.


Click on the above quick links to go directly to the station

Station 1: Project Overview


Project Location

The City of Kankakee is leading the effort to improve Hobbie Avenue from Court Street (IL Route 17) on the south to Fair Street (IL Route 50) on the north, a distance of 0.78 miles. Hobbie Avenue currently experiences poor pavement condition, safety issues, mobility deficiencies, pavement drainage deficiencies, gaps in the sidewalk, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) non-compliance, outdated railroad crossing protections, and lack of bicycle accommodations.

Hobbie Avenue provides a vital link in the regional transportation network by linking Court Street to Fair Street, which serves nearby residents, commercial businesses and industrial operations. The Kankakee Area Transportation Study Metropolitan Planning Organization has included this project in their Long Range Transportation Plan and is providing federal funding at an 80% level for engineering and construction. The City of Kankakee is responsible for the remaining 20% of the engineering and construction costs.

Project Development Process

The Phase I Preliminary Engineering & Environmental Study is the first step in the overall project development process and investigates the transportation needs and solutions along Hobbie Avenue. The Phase I Study is anticipated to be completed in Spring 2021.  The City will be advancing the project into Phase II Engineering, which consists of contract plan preparation and Land Acquisition, in Spring 2021. The City will begin construction after the completion of Phase II Engineering and Land Acquisition. Construction is currently anticipated to begin in 2022.

Phase I Development Process

The Phase I project development process starts with the identification of the project’s purpose and needs, evaluates a range of alternatives to address those needs, identifies the preferred alternative and then prepares engineering reports. The purpose of this Virtual Public Meeting is to inform the project stakeholders of the preferred alternative and seek comments and input. Following the meeting, the project team will address comments and prepare the final Phase I Engineering project reports to document the proposed project improvements, impacts and commitments.

Station 2: Existing Conditions


Existing Conditions

The existing conditions exhibit summarizes the findings during the data collection stage of the project. This includes wetland survey, floodplain/floodway identification, topographic survey to determine the right-of-way (publicly owned property for transportation/utilities), and location of public lands. Generally, Hobbie Avenue is a 2-lane roadway with unmarked parking on both sides within a 70-foot right-of-way.

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Traffic Information

One of the initial steps in the project development process is identifying the transportation issues and needs. Traffic counts are collected at all major intersections. Then traffic projections are obtained from the Kankakee Area Transportation Study (KATS) for the design year (year 2050), which is utilized for analysis and design of the project. Hobbie Avenue had an average of 5,800 vehicles per day, which is projected to increase to 9,650 vehicles per day in year 2050, an increase of 67%.

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Crash Analysis

A crash analysis is performed for the latest 5 years to identity crash patterns and formulate countermeasures to address any safety issues. There were a total of 77 crashes from 2013 to 2017, which resulted in 33 injuries (43%) and no fatalities. The predominant crash types were rear end (25%), left-turning (16%), and parked motor vehicle (14%). The high representation of rear end crashes and left-turning crashes is commonly associated with a lack of turn lanes along the corridor. The recommended countermeasures are to improve pavement and drainage conditions, add a median/center turn lane, and add auxiliary turn lanes at intersections. The high representation of parked motor vehicle crashes is associated with driver confusion created by the lack of delineated traveled lanes and parking areas. The recommended countermeasure is to remove and prohibit on-road parking within the Hobbie Avenue corridor.


Station 3: Proposed Improvements

Overall Proposed Improvements

To address the identified project purpose and need, the pavement of Hobbie Avenue is proposed to be reconstructed to provide one travel lane in each direction, center turn lane, painted bike lanes, continuous sidewalks on both sides of Hobbie Avenue, drainage improvements, roadway lighting, and railroad improvements. The reconstruction limits are just north of Court Street to the Norfolk Southern Railroad just south of Fair Street. To implement the proposed improvements, the existing on-road parking will be eliminated throughout the project limits.

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Some key features of the proposed improvement, include:

  • A center flush median for the entire length of the project that will be used as a left turn lane at intersections, alleys and driveways. The center turn lane will improve safety and operations on Hobbie Avenue by providing for deceleration and vehicle storage for left-turning traffic traveling in both the northbound and southbound directions.

  • On-street bike lanes will be provided on each side of the road. Bike lanes will transition to shared vehicle/bike lanes north of Willow Street and extend to the north project limit. On Hobbie Avenue between Willow Street and Fair Street, the existing four-lane section will be changed to a three-lane section (one lane in each direction with a center bi-directional turn lane) with the removal of one southbound lane.

  • The existing parallel parking along Hobbie Avenue will be eliminated, with signage prohibiting on-street parking installed throughout the corridor. Elimination of parking on both sides of Hobbie Avenue will improve safety and allow for the construction of the center flush median and on-street bike lanes.

  • Sidewalks are proposed along both sides of the roadway and will tie into existing facilities at the south project limit. Towards the northern project limit, the sidewalk will terminate at the northernmost developed property on each side of Hobbie Avenue. Marked pedestrian crossings are proposed at Mulberry Street (all-way stop control) and at uncontrolled intersections at Oak Street, Chestnut Street and Willow Street.

  • The at-grade Kankakee, Beaverville & Southern Railroad (KB&S RR) crossings will be improved to meet current railroad crossing standards, as determined by the Interstate Commerce Commission. A flush median is proposed across the KBS RR crossing, along with automated gates and signals. No improvements other than roadway resurfacing will be made at the Norfolk Southern Railroad crossing.

  • Minor geometric improvements will be made at the minor street intersections, including increasing turning radii to improve access and driver comfort.

    • At Willow Street, the northeast and southeast curb radii will be modified so that large trucks can be accommodated without encroachment into oncoming traffic.

    • At Mulberry Street, the southwest corner radius at Hobbie Avenue has been improved to accommodate a city bus design vehicle without encroachment into oncoming traffic, as River Valley Metro Mass Transit District Bus Route 8 has an eastbound stop on Mulberry Street at Hobbie Avenue.

  • The existing drainage system will be removed and replaced with a new upsized drainage system to meet IDOT drainage design standards. The existing pavement flooding north of Willow Street will be improved.

  • A decorative LED roadway lighting system will be installed throughout the project limits to improve safety and provide an aesthetic enhancement to the corridor.

Typical Sections

A typical section shows a “slice” of the roadway at certain location along the project. Imagine that you are standing in the middle of the roadway looking to the north, so the left side is west and the right side is east.  The typical sections below show an example where there are on road bike lanes and an example where there are shared vehicle/bike lanes.  There are two sections to the project with differing typical sections, from Court Street to Willow Street and from Willow Street to Fair Street.

Court Street to Willow Street
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Willow Street to Fair Street
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Proposed Improvement

Below are the proposed improvement exhibits for Hobbie Avenue. There is one sheet for Hobbie Avenue starting at Court Street to the KB&S RR and the second sheet from the KB&S RR to Fair Sheet. Due to the larger file size, please allow some time for the exhibit to load in the new window.

Exhibit 1 - Court Street to KB&S RR
Exhibit 2 - KB&S RR to Fair Street

Proposed Detour

Hobbie Avenue does not have adequate existing pavement width to maintain two lanes of traffic during construction. The project team is planning to construct the proposed improvement in two stages (half of the roadway at a time), maintaining one-way traffic on one half of existing pavement, while the other half of pavement is reconstructed. Access to side streets and driveways will be maintained during construction, with short duration closures.

Stage 1 will maintain southbound traffic and detour northbound traffic, utilizing Court Street (IL Route 17), Harrison Street (IL Route 50), and Fair Street (IL Route 50).

Stage 2 will maintain northbound traffic and detour southbound traffic, which would utilize Fair Street (IL Route 50), Indiana Avenue (IL Route 50), and Court Street (IL Route 17).


Station 4: Land Acquisition

Land Acquisition

Property acquisition is required to implement the proposed improvements. Owners of any property that requires property acquisition of easements or right-of-way have been mailed initial personalized letters with detailed exhibits regarding the necessary acquisition. Detailed analysis was conducted to minimize private property acquisition. Click on the below exhibit to learn about the different types of property acquisition. Here is a link to a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) brochure about land acquisition as well as a link to the FHWA website.

Pioneer Park Impacts

As part of the proposed improvement, there is proposed use of Pioneer Park, which must obtain federal approval. Below is a summary exhibit showing the general location of the proposed use. Here is a link to detailed documentation of the proposed use of the Pioneer Park. The City is seeking comments on this proposed use of Pioneer Park.

Station 5: Comment Submission


Ways to Comment

The City of Kankakee is conducting a Virtual Public Meeting related with the Hobbie Avenue Phase I Preliminary Engineering and Environmental Study. The Hobbie Avenue study area is from Court Street on the south to Fair Street to the north, a distance of 0.78 miles.

This meeting is an opportunity for you to provide comments on the:

  • Proposed Improvements for Hobbie Avenue (Court Street to Fair Street)

  • Use of property (0.017 acres of fee simple acquisition) from Pioneer Park associated with the proposed improvements.

The City intends to seek a de minimis impact finding from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) based on the project not adversely affecting the features, attributes or activities qualifying the properties for protection under U.S. DOT Section 4(f).

Ways to Comment

  • Submit comment electronically (below)

  • Download a Comment Form and submit via mail, email, fax or drop off at City Hall.

  • During Virtual Public Meeting (February 4, 2021 at 6:30 pm)

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To be included in the virtual Public Meeting record, please submit comments by Thursday, February 18, 2021. 

Submit Comment Online

Printable Comment Submission Form

To request hard copies of project information or for any general questions, contact the City of Kankakee:

Neil Piggush

City of Engineer


(815) 614-3447