$16.4 million grant will modernize, improve Rockford’s downtown

 The City of Rockford will have a chance to overhaul its downtown roads thanks to a grant that will help pay for the Rockford Complete Streets Revitalization Project.

The City partnered with the Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) to land nearly $16.4 million in federal grant funding to improve transportation infrastructure that limits connectivity in the City. The grant was announced Tuesday in a news release from U.S. Sens. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL). The investment will help fund the reconstruction of Chestnut and Walnut streets in downtown Rockford.

"Improving and modernizing downtown Rockford with this federal funding will help residents and businesses owners throughout the area while supporting good-paying local jobs," Duckworth said in a news release. "I'll keep working with Senator Durbin to make sure Rockford and communities all across Illinois receive the federal support they deserve to create more jobs while improving transportation options for working Illinoisans."

The City is working to modernize and improve downtown roads and infrastructure that limit connectivity in the central business district and hope to increase redevelopment opportunities. Funding will also be used to buy three electric buses.

The City of Rockford is a longtime Fehr Graham client. The firm partners with the City on several Capital Improvement Projects focusing on infrastructure, including updating its water distribution systems, working on the Madison Street Corridor Plan and several parks, trails and environmental revitalization projects.

"This federal funding will be a tremendous boost to Rockford by better connecting families to work, school, and recreational opportunities downtown. I'm especially pleased this funding will support clean and reliable transportation infrastructure, including electric buses," Durbin said in the news release. "Senator Duckworth and I are proud to support this improvement project, and will continue advocating for strong investments in Illinois' transportation infrastructure."

President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal into law Nov. 15 with provisions to help working Americans by reducing traffic congestion, encouraging the creation of local jobs across the nation, protecting roadside responders and improving transit accessibility, among other benefits.

This federal grant award comes through the U.S. DOT's Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grant program, which invests in state, local, multimodel and multijurisdictional road, rail, transit and port projects that economically empower communities, update infrastructure and create jobs. The RAISE grants replaced the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants of the Trump administration

The merit-based funding is focused on projects in urban areas, and nearly 700 projects were funded.