Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways

2017 Invest in Cook Grant Awards

The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) has selected 30 projects as part of Cook County’s inaugural Invest in Cook grant program.

Cook County will fund $7.2 million for the transportation-related projects, which span 42 municipalities, including the City of Chicago. The selected projects include transit improvements, cycling and pedestrian enhancements, traditional roadway repair and freight enhancements. Cook County has committed a total of $8.5 million for Invest in Cook. Additional projects will be selected and announced at a later date.

The County’s investment of $7.2 million leverages an additional $7.6 million in federal, state and local funds. The commitment of County transportation resources will enable $14.8 million in project activity across all phases to get underway in the coming year.

2017 Invest in Cook Grant Awards

FY2017 Call  for Projects

Following adoption of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long range transportation plan in 75 years, the Department of Transportation and Highways has established an $8.5 million program to cover the cost of planning and feasibility studies, engineering right-of-way acquisition, and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local and regional governments and private partners.

Referred to as Invest in Cook, this program is designed to solicit applications for improvements consistent with the five priorities of Connecting Cook County:

  • Prioritize Transit and Other Transportation Alternatives
  • Support the Region’s Role as North America’s Freight Capital
  • Promote Equal Access to Opportunities
  • Maintain and Modernize What Already Exists
  • Increase Investments in Transportation

Invest in Cook ensures that limited resources are spent wisely by identifying the universe of transportation proposals and prioritizing them using objective and transparent selection criteria. Just as important, it strengthens the partnerships and strategic matching of funding from various sources to expedite the completion of projects vital to a stronger economy and more livable communities.

Eligible Applicants and Projects


Eligible applicants include:

  • local governments
  • regional transportation authorities
  • transit agencies
  • natural resource or public land agencies
  • any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for transportation or recreational trails within Cook County 
  • private for-profit or non-profit organizations can submit project proposals but they are required to partner with a public sponsor that meets the above criteria

Lead applicants are limited to a single project application.


To foster the development of quality projects and help projects meet qualifications required to receive federal funding, applications can be submitted for projects at any stage of development, from planning and feasibility studies, to engineering design, and all the way through to final construction.

Eligible project proposals should expand the County’s involvement in multimodal projects and can include proposals for the adoption of new technologies and policies as well as those for transit, bicycle, pedestrian, freight, roadway and bridge improvement projects.

Staff salaries are not an eligible expense under this program.

Helpful Resources

Cook County: Connecting Cook County Plan

Cook County: Partnering for Prosperity (PDF)

Cook County: Planning for Progress

IDOT: Getting Around Illinois Site for Traffic Counts

HUD: CDBG Eligibility Map

CMAP: Travel Time Reliability Map

CNT: Transit Deserts in Cook County

Invest in Cook Workshop #1 Presentation

Invest in Cook Workshop #1 Sign-in-Sheet

Invest in Cook Workshop #1 Q&A


The call for projects will begin January 23, 2017 and ends 5:00 PM CST on March 17, 2017. This submission form will not accept any submissions made after the application deadline.

How to Apply

1. Applicants should read the detailed description of the program before filling out and submitting an application.

Invest in Cook Program Description

2. Applicants must fill out an application form before submitting their project for consideration in Invest in Cook.

Invest in Cook Application Form

3. All applications and attachments must be submitted electronically at the Application Site provided below.

4. After submitting an application you will be directed to a page thanking you for your submission and shortly after that you should receive an email that will confirm the submission of your application. Please contact the Department if you have any issues with your submission.