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Minooka plans improvements for new year

MINOOKA – More business, an improved bridge and better roadways are just some of the changes Minooka residents can expect to see happen in their village in 2014.

Village President Patrick Brennan is looking forward to businesses such as Metal Stamp Inc. and Airgas Inc. building facilities in Minooka and hopefully more jobs along the way. Minooka’s close proximity to Interstates 55 and 80 continues to be attractive for businesses, he said.

Grainger Industrial Supply, which built a distribution center in Minooka in the past year, has become a strong member of the community by aiding events such as the Minooka Summerfest and charities such as Chanooka Wish Foundation.

“They’re becoming partners with the village is the way I put it,” he said. “They’re helping out with charities.”

Brennan said he’s also expecting a new Trader Joe’s facility to continue hiring people. 
Village officials do their part to attract businesses to Minooka by visiting the Grundy Economic Development Council in Morris, he said, as well as attending trade shows and talking with developers about coming to Minooka.

One project that will help enhance Minooka’s location is the replacement of the Minooka Road bridge, which crosses I-80. The structure is more than 50 years old, and roughly $7.5 million has been budgeted to improve it, said Robbie Tonarelli, the village’s public works superintendent.

“A lot of people who are going to be impacted are those passing through who may or may not be living in Minooka,” he said.

He said the project is on hold until the spring, and the bridge is expected to be closed in March. The project should finish by the end of 2014, he said.

Coal City-based D Construction has been chosen to be the contractor for the job. The state will pay for about 90 percent of the project with the rest being paid for by Grundy County and the village, he said.

The two-lane roadways on the bridge will become four lanes and also accommodate a bike path, he said.

Tonarelli said another project the public works department is working on is replacing storm sewer and water mains on Coady Drive. There also are plans to expand a nearby detention pond, which will hopefully alleviate flooding on Deerpath Drive, he said. The project is expected to finish in the spring.

Next year, Brennan is expecting housing development to pick up in subdivisions such as Westwind Estates and Ninovan Lake Estates. Minooka has managed to build more homes every year despite the 2008 housing bubble, and Brennan hopes the trend will continue.

“We’re probably one of the only areas in the state that kept building every year,” he said.

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