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October 8, 2015
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CMAQ/TAP Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 14, 2015

Media Contact: Tom Garritano (312-386-8609 or tgarritano@cmap.illinois.gov)

Program Contact: Doug Ferguson (312-386-8824 or dferguson@cmap.illinois.gov)

Five-year, $301.8 million transportation program adds 60 projects to reduce congestion, improve air quality, and enhance non-motorized travel in metropolitan Chicago

Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning approves federal surface transportation investments that support implementation of the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan 

CHICAGO -- Residents of metropolitan Chicago will benefit from improved transit, roads, bicycle, and pedestrian facilities through $301.8 million in federal transportation funds targeted over the next five years to support the GO TO 2040 comprehensive regional plan's goals for reducing congestion, improving air quality, and enhancing non-motorized transportation.

Allocated by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), these funds are made available through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program and the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP).  Following a process of competitive proposals reviewed by transportation experts and stakeholders, 60 new CMAQ and TAP projects worth $301.8 million in the FY 2016-20 CMAQ and FY 2015-17 TAP programs were approved today in a joint meeting of CMAP's Board and MPO (Metropolitan Planning Organization) Policy Committee.  See the project lists for CMAQ and TAP, some highlights of which include:

  • $125 million for CTA Red-Purple Modernization
  • $29.5 million for ramps at I-294 and North Avenue (augmenting an earlier $68 million CMAQ award for Elgin-O'Hare Western Access-related intersection improvements)
  • $19.7 million for improving Pace transit in the I-90 corridor and $10 million for Pace bus-on-shoulder operations on the Edens Expressway
  • $15.1 million to improve access to transit, including $8.6 million for improvements to the Aurora Transportation Center, $1.7 million for better access to the Mundelein Metra station, and a variety of improvements spearheaded by RTA across the region
  • $7.1 million for intersection improvements on Old Orchard Road from Edens Expressway to Skokie Boulevard
  • $1.4 million for extensions of the Longmeadow Parkway Bike Path in Kane County
  • $1.6 million for the Black Road Trail from DuPage River Trail to Rock Run Trail in Will County

The CMAQ program seeks to mitigate congestion or improve air quality in areas -- including northeastern Illinois -- that do not attain federal air-quality standards.  The region has received $2 billion in federal CMAQ funds since the program began in 1992.  The TAP program was created in 2012 to provide non-motorized transportation funding, which the region focuses on construction of bicycle trails.  During this year's cycle, CMAP evaluated 118 applications requesting over $631 million. 

"The GO TO 2040 plan emphasizes modernizing our current transportation system, and the new CMAQ and TAP projects reflect those regional priorities," said CMAP executive director Joseph C. Szabo.  "These will help residents get around more freely, improve the quality of air that we all breathe, and support economic growth across the region."

CMAP held a joint CMAQ/TAP call for projects from January to March 2015.  Staff then evaluated the projects over the spring and discussed the results with the CMAP Bicycle and Pedestrian Task Force and Regional Transportation Operations Coalition in May and June as well as with individual project sponsors.  Funding recommendations were considered by the CMAQ Project Selection Committee in June and the Transportation Committee in July, then were released for a 30-day public comment period. 

Funds will be allocated to the new CMAQ and TAP projects as follows:

CMAQ or TAP Project Type

Funding

Number of Projects

Bicycle Facilities

$32,693,421

26

Bottleneck Elimination

$10,000,000

2

Direct Emissions Reduction

$9,692,300

2

Intersection Improvement

$48,783,942

10

Other

$14,762,000

3

Signal Interconnect

$7,107,377

7

Transit Facility Improvement

$125,000,000

1

Transit Service and Equipment

$38,603,356

3

Transit Access

$15,140,740

6

Grand Total

$301,783,136

60

 

--END--

About CMAP.  The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the region's official comprehensive planning organization.  Its GO TO 2040 plan is helping the seven counties and 284 communities of northeastern Illinois to implement strategies that address transportation, housing, economic development, open space, the environment, and other quality-of-life issues.  See www.cmap.illinois.gov for more information.


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