"When the General Assembly and I crafted the most robust infrastructure plan in Illinois history, our vision wasn't limited to simply updating highways, rails, and bridges. We saw an opportunity to connect jobs and economic development to communities across the state through every mode of transportation," Pritzker said. "Today we're launching funding to support Illinois ports as well as over three dozen transit systems outside Chicago. All in all, we're announcing $110 million for nine port districts as well as $112 million for 37 transit districts, totaling nearly a quarter of a billion dollars going out to projects around the state."
The announcement represents the second round of competitive grants awarded as part of $355 million identified in Rebuild Illinois to invest in transit outside the Chicago area. Projects include the purchase of new vehicles as well as the construction of bus shelters, stations, and maintenance facilities to expand and improve service, provide more transportation options in downstate communities, and promote an enhanced quality of life.
"These awards to our ports and transit systems will only strengthen our status as the multimodal transportation hub of North America," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. "Through Rebuild Illinois, Gov. Pritzker and IDOT continue to improve the state's transportation system by seeking out the best projects that do the most good and getting our partners at the local level the resources they need to deliver them."
A total of 37 transit systems are receiving $111.4 million to advance 51 projects, including:
- St. Clair County Mass Transit District's Emerson Park Operational Control Center in East St. Louis, $9.9 million for a new building to house county sheriff's deputies, transit control center, 911 dispatching, and pilot program to assist riders with mental health issues, homelessness, and more.
- Rockford Mass Transit District, $16 million for renovation and expansion of transit facility at 520 Mulberry Street.
- CRIS Rural Mass Transit District in Danville, $3 million for new administrative and operations facility.
- Kendall Area Transit in Kendall County, $4 million for new facility to accommodate administration, dispatch, mechanics, and secure parking for the vehicle fleet.
Projects funded through the first round of Rebuild Illinois-funded downstate transit grants include renovated bus stations and passenger information kiosks for the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, a new transportation center in downtown Bloomington, and a new building to serve as a headquarters, training facility, and dispatch center for the West Central Mass Transit District in Jacksonville.
A third and final round of grant opportunities for downstate transit needs is anticipated in 2022.
For the state's 19 public ports, $150 million in capital funding is available for improvement projects, the first time a state capital program is investing in waterways, with $40 million already committed to a new inland port in Cairo. The remaining $108.3 million is being awarded on a competitive basis. Proposals were evaluated on their ability to advance IDOT's Illinois Marine Transportation System Plan, which prioritizes asset management performance-based decisions and projects that benefit disadvantaged or economically distressed areas.
A total of 12 projects are receiving $108.3 million, including:
- America's Central Port District in Granite City, $21 million total investment with $13 million for sediment reduction project in Madison Harbor, increasing operational efficiency and reducing long-term expenses.
- Illinois International Port District in Chicago, $13 million for Iroquois Landing dock wall rehabilitation at the mouth of the Calumet River and Lake Michigan, part of the Port of Chicago, the largest cargo port on the Great Lakes.
- Mid‐America Intermodal Port Authority in Quincy, $13.2 million to improve capacity and operations at existing dock and build a second dock.