$281 million in transportation investments to benefit northeastern Illinois

More than $280 million in transportation improvements will help residents navigate northeastern Illinois, access opportunity and improve their quality of life.

The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) Board and MPO Policy Committee on Wednesday approved 51 new transportation projects. The regional investment of federal funds over five years will strengthen transit, roads and bridges, as well as bicycle and pedestrian facilities. The projects will help rebuild train stations, add electric buses, build new bike and pedestrian trails and alleviate congestion through new under- and overpasses.

Side view of the front of a Metra Train on railway tracks.

“These critical investments will create a stronger and more sustainable multimodal transportation network to better serve our residents today and into the future,” CMAP Executive Director Erin Aleman said.

The full lists of approved projects are available on CMAP’s website. Highlights include:

  • $48 million for the State/Lake (Loop Elevated) Station in Chicago
  • $44.2 million for the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) to purchase electric buses and charging stations
  • $30 million for the CTA Red Line Extension project in Chicago
  • $29 million for the purchase of alternative fuel locomotives by Metra
  • $17.6 million to repair and rehabilitate the Grand Avenue bridge in Chicago over the North Branch of the Chicago River
  • $17.1 million to implement Pace’s PULSE 95th Street line and improve regional mobility in the southern suburbs
  • $9.4 million to reconstruct Milwaukee Avenue from Logan to Armitage in Chicago
  • $9.2 million to reconstruct the Des Plaines River Trail between Bryn Mawr Avenue and Irving Park Road in the northwest suburbs
  • $6.6 million to improve the intersection of Illinois Route 38 and County Farm Road in Wheaton
  • $6 million for the Lake County PASSAGE SMART Initiative, an intelligent transportation system designed to provide travelers with real-time traffic congestion data
  • $4.1 million to reconstruct 131st Street from Pulaski Road to Kedzie Avenue in Alsip
  • $3.6 million for 15 projects that will interconnect traffic signals along routes in suburban Cook, Lake and Will counties
  • $3.4 million to enhance access to transit at six suburban transit stations
  • $2.9 million to construct a shared-use path along 25th Avenue in Broadview in western Cook County
  • $2.8 million to construct bicycle and pedestrian overpasses on Illinois Route 59 in Streamwood and Illinois Route 83 in Elmhurst
  • $1.9 million for preliminary engineering studies to modernize and improve safety on Dixie Highway in Harvey and Ashland Avenue in Calumet Park

Funding for these projects is made available through the federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) – Shared Fund, the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program, and the locally programmed Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP-L).

These three programs support the environment by improving regional air quality, nonmotorized transportation options for residents and large-scale, regional priorities that advance the goals of ON TO 2050, CMAP’s long-range plan for northeastern Illinois.

The nine projects being funded through the STP-Shared Fund total $46 million. The projects will improve facilities and infrastructure that serve more than 7.9 million jobs and households across northeastern Illinois.

The 30 projects being funded through the CMAQ program total more than $213 million. They collectively are estimated to eliminate 113 kilograms daily of volatile organic compound emissions, which are among the primary precursors to ground-level ozone that is harmful to breathe.

The 12 projects being funded through the TAP-L program total $22.4 million. The projects will help complete the Regional Greenways and Trails Plan, which calls for a network of continuous green way and trail corridors throughout northeastern Illinois.

Following a call for projects earlier this year, transportation experts and stakeholders from across the region reviewed 138 applications. CMAP’s CMAQ Project Selection Committee and STP Project Selection Committee considered funding recommendations, which were released for a 30-day public comment period. The CMAP Transportation Committee also approved the recommendations in September before the CMAP Board and MPO Policy Committee gave final approval Wednesday.