CHICAGO – September 3, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today joined Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) Secretary Gary Hannig and local officials to break ground on a project that will improve a key segment of Roosevelt Road between Austin Avenue and Harlem Avenue. The $8.3 million project will improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, and is expected to create or retain approximately 108 jobs.
“When we invest in projects like these, we are making an investment in our state’s long-term economic future,” said Governor Quinn. “This project will put people to work in good-paying construction jobs immediately, and it has the potential to create even more jobs by attracting businesses to the area.”
The project was initiated by the village of Oak Park, the city of Berwyn and the town of Cicero, which have worked together on plans and zoning regulations intended to improve the corridor’s appearance, accessibility and function.
“We are extremely proud to see this state-local partnership project move forward,” said Transportation Secretary Hannig. “This project will help stimulate the local economy, improve street design and traffic flow as well as encourage pedestrian usage throughout the area.”
The Roosevelt Road project involves constructing 1.54 miles of curb, as well as widening sidewalks to become more pedestrian friendly, driveway reconstruction, and pavement milling and resurfacing. Additional work includes replacing street lights and installing decorative features such as ornamental lighting, landscaping, planters and benches. In addition to making the area more pedestrian friendly, the improvements are intended to attract retail and residential development. The project is expected to be completed by October 2011.
The Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) will fund the project. ITEP provides funding for community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance travelers’ experiences. Such projects improve the cultural, historic, aesthetic and environmental aspects of Illinois’ transportation infrastructure. Project sponsors may be reimbursed for up to 80 percent of eligible project costs.
IDOT is currently leading the state’s largest road construction program in state history, made possible by Governor Quinn’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program. In 2010, IDOT is investing almost $5 billion to repair or improve 2,450 miles of roads and 331 bridges, which is creating or retaining an estimated 65,000 jobs.