Cook County opens grant applications for transportation and infrastructure projects


Chicago Construction News staff writer

Applications are now being accepted for the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highway’s (DoTH) “Invest in Cook” grant program to assist communities with transportation infrastructure improvements.

The bureau of economic development (BED) is also accepting Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) applications for capital improvement projects.

“These programs make key investments to support communities across the County,” said President Preckwinkle. “Equitable investments that improve infrastructure and create accessible job opportunities, especially in the most under-resourced areas of the County, will always be a top priority for my administration. I’m proud of the work DoTH and BED have done through these critical grant programs to address local needs.”

For the eighth year, DoTH dedicated $8.5 million for Cook infrastructure grants to help 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 and increase investments in transportation.

In addition to funding projects, Invest in Cook provides technical and grant-writing expertise through staff support to help communities tap into new funding sources and accelerate the completion of projects that may have languished.

“I am pleased to offer this grant program for its eighth year,” said Jennifer ‘Sis’ Killen, superintendent of DoTH. “Invest in Cook is an important resource to support transportation infrastructure across the County. The program allows communities and agencies to implement local priority projects and often facilitates collaboration on regionally significant improvements, strengthening the overall transportation network.”

Bureau of Economic Development Community Development Block Grant Program 

For over 40 years, Cook County has administered the CDBG program to support critical community development needs across suburban Cook County. Under CDBG, BED announced the call for applications for three grant programs including capital improvement, public service and ESG.

These programs are designed to support street and sewer improvements, HVAC and roof repairs/replacements as well as social service and homeless prevention needs in income-eligible areas of suburban Cook County. In 2023, over $8.6 million was awarded to 72 applicants across all three programs.

“Investing in traditionally underserved communities will create a better Cook County for us all,” said Susan Campbell, director of the County’s Department of Planning and Development. “The critical assistance provided through these grant programs creates equitable solutions for all suburban Cook County residents and businesses.”

CDBG funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and must be invested in line with Moving to Implementation, BED’s five-year strategic plan that guides the use of these HUD resources. CDBG funding can also be invested in capital projects that will lead to job creation and retention.

How to apply

Invest in Cook

The application deadline for Invest in Cook is Friday, March 22, 2024, at 5 p.m. CST.

Under the Invest in Cook program, DoTH is seeking applications from local governments and transit agencies. Private and nonprofit organizations can submit project proposals but must have a public sponsor.

DoTH staff will evaluate and score Invest in Cook proposals to determine which projects will be chosen this year.

For more information and to apply, visit

Community Development Block Grant Program

The application deadline for the capital improvement grant is March 22, 2024, at 5 p.m. The application deadline for the public service and ESG programs is March 22, 2024.

Under the CDBG program, BED will accept applications from units of government and nonprofit organizations.

For more information and to apply, visit

A virtual workshop to discuss all available grant opportunities will be held on Wednesday, January 31, 2024, from 1 – 4 p.m. Those interested in applying for a grant can visit the Invest in Cook or CDBG webpages to register.

Award letters for all grant programs will be sent out this summer and a corresponding list of grantees will be published on each department’s webpage.


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