President Preckwinkle Awards $8.9 Million to Invest in Cook Projects

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Invest in Cook grant program improves transit, pedestrian and bicycle paths as well as road and freight transportation across Cook County

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined the County’s Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) today to announce the list of 43 projects that will receive funding under the 2022 ‘Invest in Cook’ grant program. A total of $8,985,634 will be distributed across 39 municipalities and three townships to fund two transit, 16 pedestrian, 11 bicycle, one freight and 13 road projects.

This is the sixth year Invest in Cook grant funding has been awarded for transportation-related projects. Invest in Cook has awarded $48.7 million in grants for a total of 205 projects throughout Cook County since its inception in 2017.

The County’s investment of $8.9 million leverages significant additional local, state and federal funds, allowing nearly $27 million in transportation infrastructure engineering and construction to advance. 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.

To promote diversity in transportation modes, projects were evaluated and ranked by type. This year, 55% of grant funding is directed towards projects in low and moderate-income communities.

“Making equitable investments to ensure that each community has a robust transportation infrastructure is essential to creating a more vibrant Cook County,” said President Preckwinkle. “Over half of projects receiving funding this year are in traditionally underserved areas. When we lift these communities up by making commuting easier and more accessible, we’re improving the quality of life for not only these residents but for all County residents.”

Invest in Cook grants help municipalities further their transportation projects by providing the gap funding required to advance investing in the planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements sponsored by local governments and private partners. Funding early project phases is crucial to unlock follow-on grant funding opportunities.

Invest in Cook is an initiative that’s part 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.

DoTH evaluated the 79 grant applications submitted by local governments and transit agencies based on 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.

To view the complete list of 2022 Invest in Cook grant recipients and projects, visit: www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook

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