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Group may stop traffic on I-64 over contracts


By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – A group of African-American contractors say they'll shut down a stretch of Interstate 64 in East St. Louis at Monday afternoon.

The group's members claim the Illinois Department of Transportation is excluding them from several highway projects.

The Metro East Black Contractors Organization says African-Americans represent less than 10 percent of the contractor participation on two large area projects.

The state of Illinois' goal for disadvantaged business enterprises, which include women and racial minorities, is 22 percent. Contractor's attorney Eric Vickers says I-DOT is unwilling to hear their concerns.

"They have been obstinate, refusing to meet and so at rush hour, at 3:30 p.m., where this sign says Welcome to Illinois, we're going to stop the traffic." Vickers said.

An I-DOT spokesman says the law does not allow the agency to exclusively solicit black contractors.