JASPER COUNTY — The Indiana Department of Transportation announces the closure of the southbound Kankakee Rest Area (mile marker 231) for construction of a new welcome center in this location beginning this week.

Starting Wednesday, Aug. 4 at 4 p.m. CDT, the building at this rest area will be closed. The parking lot will remain open through the weekend before closing to the public on Monday, Aug. 9. These closures will be in place while the current rest area is demolished and the new welcome center is constructed.

INDOT is in the second year of a 10-year, $275 million plan to replace welcome centers at entry points to the state. The new Kankakee Welcome Center will replace an existing facility that is nearly 40 years old. The new welcome center will be fully ADA compliant, energy efficient and feature modern restrooms, electronic tourism displays, public art, expanded parking, walking trails and a natural wetlands area.

A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for Tuesday, Aug. 10 at 10 a.m. CDT to mark the start of construction.

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