Illinois awarded $265 million in competitive federal funding in October

Illinois awarded $265 million in competitive federal funding in October

By Chrissy Mancini Nichols

Nov 4, 2010

This post first appeared at

October was a good month for Illinois.  The state received $265 million in competitive federal funding through a variety of programs.  Here’s the tally:

HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative Planning Grants

On October 14th, The U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) awarded $100 million in new Sustainable Communities Initiative Regional Planning Grants in 45 regions across the nation to support more livable and sustainable communities.  Illinois was awarded:

   $4.25 million to the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning for implementation of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan.

   $1.2 million to the Tri-County Regional Planning Commission in Peoria to expand the scope of sustainability planning and begin implementing recommendations from The Big Plan.

   $600,000 to the Rockford Metropolitan Agency for Planning to fund the development and future implementation of its comprehensive regional plan.

HUD Sustainable Communities Initiative Challenge Grants and TIGER II Planning Grants

In an unprecedented collaboration between two federal agencies, HUD and the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT) on October 20th jointly awarded 62 grants totaling nearly $68 million  to help support a new generation of sustainable and livable communities that connect affordable housing, job opportunities, and transportation corridors.

HUD awarded $40 million in new Sustainable Communities Challenge Grants to help support local planning designed to integrate affordable housing, good jobs and public transportation, while DOT directed $28 million in TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) II Planning Grants to implement localized plans that ultimately lead to projects that integrate transportation, housing and economic development.  Illinois was awarded:

   $2.4 million to the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association to fund a redevelopment plan to foster job growth in green and distribution industries along the region’s well-established freight rail network, while supporting residential development near existing and planned transit stations.

   $2.8 million to the Village of Barrington to complete preliminary engineering and design for the grade separation of five lanes on Route 14, as well as the existing pedestrian walkway and bike trail from the EJ&E/Canadian National Railway.  This project will reduce rail liability conflicts and increase safety and efficiency.  

Also in the region, the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District in Michigan City, Indiana was awarded $800,000 for a South Shore Commuter Railroad Realignment Study.  The study will recommend how to replace two miles of rail track between 10th and 11th Streets in Michigan City to enhance railroad and vehicular safety by reducing grade crossings, improving railroad operating flexibility and capacity, improving operating speeds, reducing long term maintenance costs, and consolidating the two Michigan City stations into a new ADA accessible station with sufficient parking.

TIGER II Capital Grants

Forty-two capital construction projects, along with 33 planning projects in 40 states shared nearly $600 million from the DOT’s TIGER II program, awarded on October 20th to fund major infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit, rail and ports.  Illinois was awarded:

   $10 million for the Moline Multimodal Transportation Center to establish true multimodal connections between local buses, taxis, bicycle and pedestrian facilities.  The center is expected to support up to 825 new and permanent jobs, while reconnecting the Quad Cities with Chicago, and ultimately to Iowa City, Iowa, and Omaha, Nebraska.

   $10 million for the Peoria - Warehouse District Complete Streets Project for design and construction of a Complete Streets network in Peoria’s downtown warehouse district.  Funds will help Peoria pursue plans to revitalize the area through mixed-use development, combining homes with shopping and work destinations.  The project will improve the local road system and bring dilapidated, and in some case non-existent, sidewalks into a state of good repair and ADA compliance.  

High Speed Rail

As part of $2.4 billion in awards for planning and construction of intercity passenger rail service, DOT announced on October 28th 54 projects in 23 states that will receive funds.  Illinois was awarded:

   $230 million to introduce higher speed rail from Chicago to Iowa City. Projects will include the construction of a new main line track, rehabilitation of existing track, and installation of new crossovers, siding tracks, and signal improvements that will allow for 79-mile-per-hour service.  Funds also will buy new rolling stock and the construction of three new passenger rail stations.  Service is expected to start in 2015 with two daily roundtrips between Iowa City and Chicago at peak speeds of 79 mph, making it a five-hour trip.

   $3.2 million for planning a higher speed rail route from Chicago to Kalamazoo on the Chicago Detroit Pontiac corridor. 

   $400,000 for Kansas City – St. Louis – Chicago corridor, to fund a variety of major projects including implementing positive train control technology, upgrading existing rail cars, improving track and signal systems, and enhancing existing stations.

Check the blog next week for a national breakdown of the TIGER II program and Sustainable Communities Initiative.

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