CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn and Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider announced Wednesday a nearly $50 million investment in community transportation projects throughout Illinois.
The latest round of funding through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program will support more than 400 jobs through 54 projects, including bike paths, walking trails, historic preservation and streetscape beautification projects in communities across Illinois. The ITEP is a federally-funded, competitive program that encourages transportation-related enhancement projects in a variety of categories. Local matching funds are required, and work must begin on the projects within three years.
"This major investment in community transportation projects throughout Illinois will help improve the quality of life for everyone," Quinn said. "These projects will create hundreds of jobs while preserving our heritage, beautifying communities and creating new transportation options across our state for pedestrians, bicyclists, and others. I want to thank our Congressional delegation for securing the funds so that we can reinvest them back into our cities, towns and counties."
"Over the years, funding for bike and pedestrian infrastructure has improved street safety and quality of living in Illinois communities," said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). "Incorporating bike paths, bike lanes and sidewalks into the transportation system encourages physical activity and healthy lifestyles by providing a safe place to walk, jog and bike close to home. And today's announcement by Governor Quinn ensures that these federal funds will be spent creating jobs in Illinois communities."
"Trails and bikeways make Illinois communities better places to live," Ed Barsotti, League of Illinois Bicyclists executive director, said. "For over a decade, Governor Quinn has worked for better bicycling and walking conditions for Illinois residents. He recognizes this as one part of many solutions, for problems we face with health care costs, transportation equity and safety. Today's grants will help communities across Illinois build these popular and important facilities."
"We are very excited to help move these very important projects forward," Secretary Schneider said. "This community-based program will expand travel options, improve safety and enhance the quality of life of residents throughout Illinois."
For the current round of funding, the Illinois Department of Transportation received 328 applications requesting ITEP federal funding totaling nearly $327 million. Beginning this year, IDOT will move this program to be awarded annually instead of every two years.