Illinois DOT Disburses Nearly $128M to Local Communitieseditor@aashto.org April 14, 2023 0 COMMENTS
The Illinois Department of Transportation recently awarded $127.9 million through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program or ITEP to support 72 local mobility projects statewide.
[Above photo by the Illinois DOT]
“The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program is … designed to support alternate modes of transportation, to preserve visual and cultural resources, and improve quality of life,” explained Governor Jay “J.B.” Pritzker (D) in a statement.
Those 72 local mobility 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.
“The ITEP gives our local partners the resources they need to improve quality of life for their communities and strengthen the state’s overall transportation system,” added Illinois DOT 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.”
Gov. Pritzker held a ceremony an ITEP awards ceremony in Chicago, where the Chicago Department of Transportation received $3 million to support the Englewood Line Trail project – a project converting 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.
Made possible by federal and state funds administered by Illinois DOT, ITEP awards are focused on improving bike and pedestrian travel, as well as making other surface transportation improvements that promote alternative options for getting around communities.
The state funding for those ITEP awards comes from the six-year, $45 billion “Rebuild Illinois” capital plan passed in June 2019 by the Illinois legislature and signed into law by Gov. Pritzker. It increased the state’s tax on diesel and gasoline from 19 cents per gallon to 38 cents per gallon and index it to inflation.
The agency said this round of ITEP awards went to projects based on their readiness and ability to connect to transportation networks, along with “other economic drivers,” public support, and the demonstrated ability for the project to provide benefits to the public.
Illinois DOT said additional consideration went to projects serving areas with higher needs, based on population totals, percentage below the poverty level and estimated median household income.