President Preckwinkle, County Department of Transportation and Highways Announce Approval of ‘Invest in Cook’ Grants

Selected projects highlight Cook County’s transportation priorities.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today announced the approval of the first group of transportation projects selected as part of Cook County’s inaugural Invest in Cook grant program.

Intergovernmental agreements to fund $1.4 million for the eight projects were approved by the Cook County Board of Commissioners. 

Those transportation-related projects focus on the tenets of Cook County’s long-range transportation policy goals: enhancing transit, pedestrian, cycling and freight facilities, and improving existing infrastructure. 

“Cook County must be a transportation leader in the region and this is a step toward that,” said President Preckwinkle. “The investments made in these projects will lead to greater economic growth and more livable communities by making sure businesses and residents have safe, convenient and varied transportation options.”  

Notable projects approved include:

  • The renovation of the 147th Street (Sibley Blvd.) Metra Electric Station, which will produce a design for modernizing a station that is used by more than 1,000 weekday riders. The renovation will include a new station entrance, warming shelters, platforms, canopies and an elevator for ADA accessibility.
  • The Franklin Avenue feasibility study will examine how best to rebuild 1.5 miles of Franklin Avenue, an access road in Franklin Park that serves 430 industrial businesses, supports 13,000 jobs and is likely to experience increased traffic. Existing roadway geometrics make it difficult for trucks to navigate through the industrial area.  
  • The Dolton/Riverdale Gateway freight study will look at the impact that 10 grade-level railroad crossings have on residents’ quality of life and on the business community. Community representatives will identify priority crossings and review possible solutions to alleviate traffic congestion caused by passing trains.

The other projects approved Wednesday focus on pedestrian and bike enhancements and the improvement of existing infrastructure. Those projects are:

  • Des Plaines River Trail from Touhy Avenue to North Avenue in the Village of Rosemont
  • Poplar Avenue bike trail extension in the Village of Richton Park
  • Union Avenue road reconfiguration to include bike lane and sidewalk infill in the Village of Steger 
  • West Bartlett Road/Devon Avenue swale and bike path replacement in the Village of Bartlett 
  • Greater Woodfield area traffic flow improvements in Village of Schaumburg

Invest in Cook is an initiative of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long-range transportation plan in 75 years, which lays the groundwork for how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. 

The County’s investment of $7.2 million in the program leverages an additional $7.6 million in federal, state and local funds to advance 30 transportation projects spanning 42 communities. The commitment of County transportation resources will enable $14.8 million in project activity across all phases to get under way in the coming year. Visit cookcountyil.gov/investincook for more details about each project.

“This inaugural Invest in Cook program advances an impressive array of transit, bicycle, pedestrian, freight and road projects that connect workers to jobs, shippers to customers, and residents to the many errands they carry out every day,” said Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims, the chairwoman of the County’s Roads and Bridges Committee. “Long-neglected, disadvantaged communities in particular are benefitting from the County’s targeting of its transportation funds.”