Local News

State approves funding for Flossmoor streetscape, 183rd Street road diet projects

Homewood and Flossmoor will benefit from $127.9 million being awarded through the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program (ITEP) that is expanding travel options and enhancing quality of life in communities throughout the state.

Among the grants awarded was nearly $1.2 million for Flossmoor’s downtown streetscape project and $232,875 for Homewood’s 183rd traffic diet project.

Both projects are primarily aimed at improving safety.

A plan chosen by Flossmoor trustees in 2020 to improve safety
downtown. (Provided image)

Flossmoor plans to realign crosswalks, create curb bump-outs for safer crossing and additional greenspace and create truck aprons for safer turning movements. The project will also include decorative sidewalk treatments and landscaping to focus sightlines for pedestrians and motorists. New tree grates, signage and a mural gateway feature will be added.

The improvements will be made on Sterling Avenue, Central Drive and Flossmoor Road.

Homewood Department of Public Works created a test of the traffic diet plan in May 2022. After gathering data and observing traffic patterns for about two weeks, officials deemed the lane restructuring to be promising enough to seek the blessing of the Board of Trustees.

The board authorized staff to apply for the grant in September 2022 and approved the plan in October, contingent on funding.

The project will involve restriping 183rd Street from Morgan Street west to Dixie Highway, reducing the main traffic lanes from four to two. Turn lanes will be added at intersections, and there will be bicycle lanes in each direction.

The traffic diet plan on 183rd Street in Homewood will reduce travel lanes from four to two and add bike lakes in an effort to reduce speeding and improve access. (Provided image)
The traffic diet plan on 183rd Street in Homewood will reduce
travel lanes from four to two and add bike lakes in an effort
to reduce speeding and improve access. (Provided image)

“The Illinois’ Transportation Enhancement Program is an important part of Rebuild Illinois designed to support alternate modes of transportation, to preserve visual and cultural resources, and improve quality of life,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said in a news release. “We’re reversing a legacy of disinvestment that holds us all back, and we’re establishing a new day for the program.”

The 72 projects selected include biking and walking paths, trails, streetscape beautification and other projects designed to encourage safe travel across the various modes of transportation at the local level. An all-time high of nearly $127.9 million was made available in this funding cycle, with more than 75% allocated to projects in communities that best demonstrated a financial need.

Projects were awarded based on their readiness and ability to connect to transportation networks and other economic drivers, as well as secure public support and provide public benefits. Additional consideration was given to projects serving areas with higher needs, based on population totals, percentage below the poverty level and estimated median household income.

IDOT received 213 applications for projects worth an estimated $337 million for the current cycle. The next call for projects will come in late 2024, with a 2025 award announcement.

Passed in 2019, Rebuild Illinois is investing $33.2 billion into the state’s aging transportation system, creating jobs and promoting economic growth. Rebuild Illinois is the largest capital program in state history and includes all modes of transportation, including roads and bridges, transit, waterways, freight and passenger rail, aviation, and bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.

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