Joliet approves contractor to build bus station in 2021

The long-delayed plans for a Joliet bus station are rolling again, and construction should start early next year.

The bus station, which would be the final piece of the Joliet Gateway Center transportation complex, could open in fall 2021.

The Joliet City Council on Tuesday approved an $8.9 million contract with Madison Construction Company to build the station.

The contract still requires approval from the Illinois Department of Transportation, which was a factor in the project being delayed in February, when Joliet was set to vote on bids for the job. The vote was delayed then because of an IDOT review that eventually disqualified the low bidder.

The bus station was to be built with the new train depot that opened in 2018.

The bus station, however, had been delayed by cost overruns on the entire Joliet Gateway Center project.

The project has been mostly funded with state and federal grants.

Grants also will pay for the bus station.

The city has $9.7 million in grant funding for the bus station, providing nearly $800,000 to cover higher costs that develop during construction, said Kendall Jackson, director of community development.

Construction should start in the first quarter of 2021 and be completed by fall, Jackson said.

“We’re going to have a complete multimodal transportation center,” he said. “It’s going to be great for the public.”