President Preckwinkle and the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways Awards $8.5 Million in Invest in Cook Grants

September 25, 2020

2020 Invest in Cook grant program encourages transportation investments that support the County’s priorities, including transit, cycling and freight transportation

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) announced the list of 30 projects that will receive funding under the 2020 ‘Invest in Cook’ transportation grant program. A total of $8,502,525 will be distributed across 30 municipalities and will fund one transit, 15 bicycle/pedestrian, six freight and eight road projects.

The County’s investment of $8.5 million leverages an additional $17,784,477 in federal, state and local funds. The commitment of County transportation resources will enable $26,284,477 in project activity across all phases to get under way in the coming year. To promote diversity in transportation modes, projects were evaluated and ranked by type.

Since its inception in 2017, $31.2 million in Invest in Cook grants have been awarded to 128 projects throughout the County.

Invest in Cook puts a premium on creating equal access to opportunity. Approximately 70 percent of the funding is directed towards projects in low and moderate-income communities.

“We can’t all succeed until our most underserved residents have the same opportunities as the rest of us,” said President Preckwinkle. “Creating equal access to transportation options should always be part of the conversation. Making investments to help residents traverse safely and more efficiently throughout the County has always been our top priority.”

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.

In January, the County put out the call and received 58 Invest in Cook grant applications from local governments and transit agencies. Invest in Cook is an initiative that’s part of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long-range transportation plan in 75 years. This plan lays the groundwork for how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent.

Invest in Cook sought projects consistent with the priorities detailed in 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

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

Invest in Cook also provides technical and grant-writing expertise to help communities tap into new fund sources and accelerate the completion of projects that may have languished.

DoTH has expanded its traditional focus on its own roads and bridges to partner with local communities to build and maintain a comprehensive transportation network that addresses the need for pedestrian, bicycle, transit and freight facilities as well.

To view the complete list of 2020 Invest in Cook projects, please visit DoTH’s website.