Program encourages local and regional investments that support the County’s priorities
The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways (DoTH) is seeking applications for transportation-related projects throughout Cook County as part of President Toni Preckwinkle’s initiative to strategically build and maintain a comprehensive regional transportation network.
For the second time in two years, Cook County has announced the availability of $8.5 million to help cover the cost of planning, engineering, right-of-way acquisition and construction associated with transportation improvements proposed by local governments and private partners. This program is one initiative to broaden the County’s traditional focus on County roads to include pedestrian, bicycle, transit and freight-related improvements.
In 2017, the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways selected 30 projects as part of Cook County’s inaugural Invest in Cook grant program.
The County’s initial investment of $7.2 million leveraged an additional $7.6 million in federal, state and local funds. The commitment of County transportation resources enabled $14.8 million in project activity across all phases to get underway.
“The goal of Invest in Cook is to strengthen the cities and villages that make up Cook County by encouraging economic and community growth,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said.
Invest in Cook is an initiative of Connecting Cook County, the County’s first long-range transportation plan in 75 years.
“Connecting Cook County positions Cook County to be a leader in setting and implementing regional transportation policies,” Preckwinkle said. “Different levels and units of government need to collaborate to deliver regionally significant improvements that yield long-term results.”
“Last year’s Invest in Cook capital awards will continue to generate benefits for underserved communities for years to come,” said Cook County Commissioner Deborah Sims, the chairwoman of the Transportation Committee. “I am happy that we can continue to build on these successes in disadvantaged areas that support our communities.”
DoTH is seeking applications from local governments and transit agencies. Private for-profit or non-profit organizations can also submit project proposals, but must have a public sponsor. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. on March 16, 2018.
Cook County transportation staff will evaluate and score the proposals using publicly available, performance-based criteria and a qualitative assessment to determine which projects will be chosen this year.
Program information is available at www.cookcountyil.gov/InvestInCook. Award letters will be sent out in the summer of 2018, and a corresponding list of grantees will be published on the project webpage.