Program to encourage transportation investments that support the County’s priorities, including transit, cycling and freight transportation
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle was joined by the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) to announce a call for transportation-related projects throughout Cook County as part of the County’s initiative to build and maintain a comprehensive regional transportation network.
For the third year in a row, Cook County will make available $8.5 million in grants to help cover the cost of planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local governments and private partners.
The call for projects is an initiative of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long range transportation plan in 75 years. Connecting Cook County lays the groundwork for how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. In its first two years, Invest in Cook awarded $14.2 million to fund 64 projects throughout the County.
“In order to ensure that Cook County remains a strong and vibrant transportation hub for the region and the entire nation, it is our duty to find creative ways to enhance our transportation infrastructure,” President Preckwinkle said. “Invest in Cook has succeeded in creating collaborative projects between municipalities and transportation entities resulting in stronger and more livable communities for the mutual benefit of businesses and residents.”
DoTH has expanded its traditional focus on its own roads and bridges to include partnering with local communities to build and maintain a comprehensive transportation network that addresses the need for pedestrian, bicycle, transit and freight facilities as well.
In addition to funding projects, Invest in Cook 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 is seeking applications from local governments and transit agencies, among others. Private for-profit or non-profit organizations can submit project proposals, but must have a public sponsor. The deadline to apply is March 15, 2019 at 5 p.m. CST.
Invest in Cook seeks 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
Cook County transportation staff will evaluate and score the proposals to determine which projects will be chosen this year. Program information is available at https://www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook2019. Award letters will be sent out in the summer of 2019, and a corresponding list of grantees will be published on the project webpage.