Chicago Construction News staff writer
The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has awarded $127.9 million to local transportation projects in “communities that exhibit the greatest need”.
The 72 projects selected include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification and other projects designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level. An all-time high of nearly $127.9 million was made available in this funding cycle, with more than 75 per cent allocated to projects in communities that best demonstrated a financial need.
“The Illinois transportation enhancement program gives our local partners the resources they need to improve quality of life for their communities and strengthen the state’s overall transportation system,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “We’re putting dollars to work in the communities that need them most, investing in infrastructure and increasing travel options to make Illinois a safer and more enjoyable place to work, build a business and raise a family.”
Awards were announced in Chicago, where the Chicago Department of Transportation is funding $3 million for the Englewood Line trail project to convert an abandoned rail corridor into a walking and biking path on the city’s South Side. The project, currently under design, will provide a safe, accessible link to local destinations, such as schools and urban farms, as well as regional destinations by connecting to the existing bike and transit network.
Other projects receiving funding include:
- Park Forest – Forest Boulevard Shared-Use Trail Improvements, $2.9 million.
- Beach Park – Sheridan Road Bicycle and Pedestrian Improvements, $1.2 million.
- Lake County Division of Transportation – Patriot Path Stage 1, $2.4 million.
- Blue Island – Western Avenue Streetscape Project, $3 million.
- Pana – Lincoln Prairie Trail Bridge Replacement, $1 million.
- McHenry County Division of Transportation – Randall Road Bike and Pedestrian Accommodations, $3 million.
- Marion – RIDES Transit Center and Veterans Hospital Connection, $2.4 million.
- Aledo – Ninth Avenue Shared-Use Path, $1.2 million.
- Mount Prospect – Melas-Meadows Pedestrian Bridge, $3 million.
Projects were awarded based on readiness and ability to connect to transportation networks and other economic drivers, as well as secure public support and provide public benefits. Additional consideration was given to projects serving areas with higher needs, based on population totals, percentage below the poverty level and estimated median household income.
IDOT received 213 applications for projects worth an estimated $337 million for the current cycle. The next call for projects will come in late 2024, with a 2025 award announcement.