Fast-Track Infrastructure Projects Planned for Illinois during the Pandemic

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The Illinois department that handles the state's economic development is launching a program that will provide grant funding to local governments for capital projects according to My Journal Courier.

It's aim is to return skilled laborers to work on road improvements, building upgrades and other ventures that can begin quickly at a time when communities are facing COVID-19 related economic struggles.


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The Fast-Track Public Infrastructure Grants allocate $25 million from the Rebuild Illinois capital plan to "shovel-ready projects" - those that can begin construction within 90 days of receiving funding. These improvements will be prioritized in under-served areas.

Each award is worth anywhere from $500,000 to $5 million and represents the priority that Governor JB Pritzker's administration is placing on Illinois' infrastructure.


"The key here is we want to get shovel-ready projects off the ground in recognition that when you're investing in infrastructure, you're investing in people - the work creates jobs and improves the business climate. The priority is adding some stimulus to the economy right now, taking advantage of the construction season and making improvements to infrastructure, which is in constant need of modernizing. That need doesn't go away because of this pandemic." 

Assistant director of the Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity | Michael Negron


The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity announced in March that it would accept applications for these projects until June 30th as part of a larger program that is worth $50 million. Officials have said that they are making half of that pot of money more readily available for this new initiative.

The fast track grants are a result of the department's internal discussions about what it could "do quickly".


"We knew that there were local governments with a wish list of projects in various stages of readiness. Once the pandemic started to really have an impact on the economy and the governor issued a stay-at-home order to flatten the curve of infections, we took an urgent look at everything that we had and what creative ways we could use money to get it to people that really need it."

Assistant director of the Dept. of Commerce & Economic Opportunity | Michael Negron


Local governments that are having a problem getting the application ready for this immediate program can still apply for the remaining $25 million throughout the end of June.

This initiative is one of several economic aid plans that were announced by the department to ease the financial effects of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Some other programs that are available are:


 - The Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program

 - Emergency Hospitality Grants

 - Emergency Small Business Loan Fund


Department officials also plan to host online training for local governments and other public entities to learn all about the fast-track grants.  



Editor's note: This is, indeed, a confusing time for the construction industry. DataBid is working tirelessly to report and distill the news that can help you and your company make the right decisions and keep you up to date on the constant changes as they are made. We hope our coverage brings some clarity amid all the confusion.


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Posted by Judy Lamelza

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