President Preckwinkle Awards Nearly $7.8 Million to Invest in Cook Projects
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 37 projects that will receive funding under the 2023 ‘Invest in Cook’ grant program. A total of $7,752,161 will be distributed across 33 municipalities, two park districts and two townships to fund three transit, 10 pedestrian, nine bicycle, two freight and 13 road projects.
This is the seventh year Invest in Cook grant funding has been awarded for transportation-related projects. Invest in Cook has awarded $56.4 million in grants for a total of 243 projects throughout Cook County since its inception in 2017.
The County’s investment of $7.8 million leverages significant additional local, state and federal funds, allowing nearly $26 million in transportation infrastructure engineering and construction to advance. Past projects funded by Invest in Cook have gone on to receive $3 of local, state or federal funding for every $1 of Invest in Cook awards.
To promote diversity in transportation modes, projects were evaluated and ranked by type. This year, over 60% of grant funding is directed towards projects in low and moderate-income communities.
“Making commuting easier and more accessible will ultimately make Cook County a more appealing place to live and work,” said President Preckwinkle. “I am incredibly proud that approximately 60% of this year’s Invest in Cook funding has been awarded to under-resourced areas. That is the highest rate yet and I look forward to expanding our investments into communities that need support the most.”
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 long-range transportation plan, which guides how the County invests in transportation to attract and retain businesses, people, capital and talent. Invest in Cook grants support the ‘Vital Communities’, ‘Sustainable Communities’ and ‘Smart Communities’ priorities laid out in the Cook County Policy Roadmap.
DoTH evaluated the nearly 80 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 was also performed which included interviews for each project.
To view the complete list of 2023 Invest in Cook grant recipients and projects, visit: www.cookcountyil.gov/investincook