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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2010

Illinois Transportation Secretary Announces Availability of About $80 Million in Federal Funds for Streetscape, Trails and Beautification Projects
Application Process Opens for Federally Funded Enhancement Projects, Expected to Create/Sustain More Than 800 jobs

SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Transportation Secretary Gary Hannig announced today that about $80 million in federal funds will be awarded to eligible communities for local projects that expand travel choices and improve the transportation experience in Illinois.  The funding, through the 2010 Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP), is expected to create or sustain approximately 870 future jobs in Illinois.  The program provides federal funds to improve the quality of life in Illinois by promoting alternative transportation, such as bike and hike trails, streetscape improvements and beautification, and preservation of transportation resources.

“We are excited to announce the start of the ITEP application process,” said Hannig.  “This is a great opportunity for communities to apply for federal funding specifically earmarked for streetscape and beautification projects to expand travel choices such as bike and hike trails throughout the state.”

A new on-line application process is available for eligible project sponsors interested in applying for project funding through ITEP.  The deadline to submit on-line applications is Tuesday, August 31, 2010.  On-line applicants also will be required to submit a paper copy and required attachments to IDOT within three working days of their on-line submittal.

“We have seen first-hand the positive difference this federal funding has made in communities statewide, and we are confident the new on-line application option will make the process easier and more efficient,” Hannig said.
     
ITEP provides federal funds to promote sustainable and livable communities, develop transportation alternatives, and preserve visual and cultural resources.  The funds are awarded competitively and any local or state government with taxing authority is eligible to apply for and sponsor an enhancement project.  Local matching funds are required and work must begin on the projects within three years.

In December 2009, Governor Quinn announced funding for 68 transportation projects totaling $22 million through ITEP.  ITEP is funded under a provision of SAFETEA-LU, the federal surface transportation funding bill.

For more information about ITEP or to access the on-line application, please visit the IDOT website at www.dot.il.gov/opp/itep.html.

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