Invest In Cook

Service Information


The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways has announced an 8th round of Invest in Cook, an $8.5 million grant program to help local governments and agency partners further their transportation projects by covering some of the cost of planning and feasibility studies, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements. This program seeks projects consistent with the five priorities of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long range transportation plan in 75 years, as well as the recommendations of more specialized Cook County transportation plans.

Invest in Cook prioritizes proposals that support 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 and increase investments in transportation.

Eligibility Criteria

Eligible applicants include local governments, regional transportation authorities, transit agencies, natural resource or public land agencies as well as any other local or regional governmental entity with responsibility for transportation or recreational trails within Cook County.  Private for-profit or nonprofit organizations can submit project proposals as a lead applicant, but they are required to partner with a public sponsor that meets the above criteria.  Municipal and Township applicants are limited to a single project application.  Due to funding source limitations, the program cannot consider proposals for electric vehicle infrastructure at this time.  Staff salaries, the purchase and/or maintenance of rolling stock (rail cars buses, vans, etc.) and stand-alone lighting projects are not an eligible expense under the Invest in Cook program.

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, right-of-way acquisition and all the way through to final construction.

Eligible project proposals should be consistent with the priorities set forth in Connecting Cook County while expanding the County’s involvement in multimodal projects.  Applications can include proposals for transit, bicycle, pedestrian, freight, roadway modes of transportation and bridge improvement projects, in addition to other transportation improvements.


If you have any questions, are interested in finding out if Invest in Cook is a good fit for a potential project or need help applying, please email

Helpful Resources

Cook County, Connecting Cook County Plan

Cook County, Cook County Freight Plan

Cook County, Cook County ADA Transition Plan

Cook County, Partnering for Prosperity

Cook County, Planning for Progress

IDOT, Getting Around Illinois Site for Traffic Counts

HUD, CDBG Eligibility Map

About Invest in Cook

Invest in Cook grants help municipalities further their transportation projects by covering the cost of planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local governments and private partners. Past projects funded by Invest in Cook have gone on to receive $3.00 of local, state or federal funding for every $1.00 of Invest in Cook awards. This program is designed to solicit applications for improvements consistent with the five priorities of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long-range transportation plan in 75 years, which guides how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. Invest in Cook grants advance the Vital Communities, Sustainable Communities and Smart Communities priorities laid out in the Cook County Policy Roadmap.

Invest in Cook seeks projects consistent with the priorities detailed in Connecting Cook County that:

  • 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

DoTH staff evaluate and score proposals using publicly available, performance-based criteria. A qualitative assessment consisting of staff reviews of applications and applicant interviews complement the quantitative assessments.