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Chicago gets $174 million from Illinois for Obama Center related road work

Former President Barack Obama points out features of the proposed Obama Presidential Center, during a meeting at the South Shore Cultural Center in May 2017. | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — State lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner joined together to pump $174 million to Chicago for road work in and around Jackson Park related to the development of the Obama Presidential Center.

“Bringing the Obama Presidential Center to Chicago took leadership and vision, and we are gratified that our partners in Springfield also saw the potential for what this means for all of Illinois. The state’s $174 million investment in infrastructure improvements near the Obama Center on the South Side of Chicago is money well spent,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.

The money is part of a $180 million grant from the state road fund to the Chicago Department of Transportation for infrastructure improvement.

The Obama Center project is still in the process of getting approvals, with a federal review ongoing. A major local controversy has been over the proposed closing of Cornell Drive as it runs through Jackson Park.