Last week, the Cook County Board of Commissioners approved funding for engineering services and construction activities for projects across the County led by the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) as well as intergovernmental partnerships with several local agencies. These vital projects will boost economic development, build up regional transportation and improve quality of life throughout Cook County.
Most of these projects are funded by 'Invest in Cook' grants, which 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.
Village of Tinley Park
The Board approved funding for construction and construction management for the bi-County 80th Avenue roadway reconstruction in the Village of Tinley Park from approximately 191st Street to 183rd Street. Cook County will pay $8.5 million for costs associated with portions of the project under the County’s jurisdiction. Construction improvements on 80th Avenue consist of reconstruction, roadway widening, additional turn lanes, upgraded street lighting, reconstruction of the structures over the Union drainage ditch and Interstate 80, traffic signal modernization at the intersections of 80th Avenue and 191st Street and 80th Avenue and 183rd Street, installation of new traffic signals at the intersection of 80th Avenue and 185th Street and installation of pedestrian facilities and landscaping.
Village of Phoenix
DoTH awarded the Village of Phoenix a $384,000 Invest in Cook grant to advance preliminary engineering for a project to remove and replace approximately 3,400 linear feet of deteriorated roadway on 153rd Street from Halsted Street to 9th Avenue. The road resurfacing project improves drainage structures and adds new water valves as well as adjusted manholes. 153rd Street is a major thoroughfare that carries heavy traffic from residents, school buses, Pace, a refuse company, local businesses and other vehicles.
City of Calumet City
DoTH awarded Calumet City a $360,000 Invest in Cook grant for the preliminary engineering of a bicycle path that will span from Torrence Avenue and connects with the Burnham Greenway. This preliminary engineering phase will determine the safest route for the bike path. A gap of almost 2,900 feet exists from the Torrence and Michigan City Road intersection to the Burnham Greenway. The Michigan City Road Bicycle Path will help connect bicyclists from Chicago with the stores along Michigan City Road, Torrence Avenue and the River Oaks Mall and fills a gap in the larger regional trail system.
Village of Posen
DoTH awarded the Village of Posen a $200,000 Invest in Cook grant for the removal and replacement of curbs and sidewalks that are in poor condition or a physical hindrance for those with disabilities along 143rd Street and 144th Street between Western and Harrison Avenues. This area has heavy pedestrian traffic to and from public transportation along Western Avenue in addition to the Village’s main park facility and three elementary schools.
Village of Forest Park
DoTH awarded the Village of Forest Park a $247,500 Invest in Cook grant for the construction of a 1,600 linear foot asphalt multi-use path that’s ten feet wide along the west side of Van Buren Street from Madison Street to the existing parking area/path near the Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line Forest Park Transit Center. This project will also connect the existing Illinois Prairie Path to the proposed Des Plaines River Trail extension.
Village of Lincolnwood
DoTH awarded the Village of Lincolnwood a $42,000 Invest in Cook grant for preliminary engineering to advance a project which installs bike lanes along Pratt Avenue that will provide safe access to nearby dedicated bike trails such as the Skokie Valley Trail, the former Union Pacific Trail and Centennial Park Trail. Alternative bike lanes along Pratt will be considered such as on-street protected bike lanes which would repurpose the existing parking lanes, pavement widening to incorporate dedicated bike paths and a shared use off-street path. The project will also provide a bike lane to the Lincolnwood School District 74 campus which has students ranging from Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade.
Village of Justice
DoTH awarded the Village of Justice a $400,000 Invest in Cook grant that will fund the reconstruction of 82nd Place from 88th/Cork Avenue going east to the end of the cul-de-sac. Improvements include the complete removal of existing pavement, base layers as well as curb and gutter, removal and replacement of driveways on the north side of 82nd Place between the proposed curb and gutter, drainage upgrades and freshly sodded parkways. 82nd Place is a busy roadway that supports the movement of over 200 freight trucks daily.
City of Chicago Heights
DoTH awarded the City of Chicago Heights a $477,900 Invest in Cook grant for construction repairs to Euclid Avenue from West 26th Street south to the CN railroad tracks. Reconstructing this street is a priority due to the severely deteriorated pavement, inadequate storm water control and lack of sufficient pedestrian and cyclist facilities to access the adjacent forest preserves. Euclid Avenue is a local road that serves as a collector road to a state route and also serves two steel companies located along Euclid Avenue.
Applications for 2021 Invest in Cook grants are currently open and will be accepted through March 12. For more information and how to apply, visit https://www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook.
For more information about DoTH, visit their website.