Current Projects and Studies

Connecting Cook County is a call to action - a framework to promote the strategic partnerships and investments that strengthen our economy and lead to more livable communities. The Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways is implementing the Plan by initiating a range of projects and studies to improve our communities and region. Throughout the County, projects are underway to improve all modes of transportation for all people. A few projects are highlighted below. To view additional current projects and studies, click here.

Rosemont Station Transportation Center and Transit-Oriented Development

The Rosemont Station on the CTA Blue Line is the busiest transfer point in the region between Pace buses and CTA rail. The existing Rosemont transit center already exceeds capacity. There are 12 existing Pace routes that generate 421 trips to the transit center with only six bays to accommodate buses. The Transportation Center must also be modernized and expanded to accommodate Pace’s new express bus service on the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway (I-90). In partnership with Pace, Cook County is currently improving the transit center to accommodate current and near-term future use by Pace buses. The availability of underdeveloped land around the station, owned by Cook County and the Tollway, presents an opportunity to build a multimodal transportation center. The County, Tollway, RTA, Pace, CTA, Village of Rosemont and IDOT are committed to building a state-of-the-art multimodal transportation center and related transit oriented development at Rosemont. A feasibility study and financial analysis is underway to identify funding options to pay for the transportation center.

Rosemont Transportation Center

75th Street Corridor Improvement Project

The 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project (75th St. CIP) is an extremely critical project for the Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency (CREATE) Program – a public-private partnership forged to untangle and improve the efficiency of the region’s rail infrastructure in order to ensure Chicago’s preeminence in the nation’s rail system.

The 75th St. CIP is the single largest project to be undertaken through CREATE, encompassing roadways and train tracks in the Ashburn, Englewood, Auburn Gresham and West Chatham neighborhoods which today intertwine and intersect creating passenger rail, freight rail and road traffic delays. The goal of the project is the separation of the rail lines from each other and from the roadways they intersect.

Current railroad crossings to be addressed in the 75th Street Corridor Improvement Project

Touhy Avenue Multi-Modal Safety and Capacity Improvement Project

This project will add capacity on a stretch of road with traffic volumes that already exceed its design. Yet this is much more than a road project: the Touhy improvement will enhance national freight railroad operations by building a grade separation at the Union Pacific (UP) rail crossing, UP’s 2nd busiest line in the region. It will facilitate growth in air travel and shipping by improving access to O’Hare International Airport, the 4th busiest passenger and 16th cargo airport in the world. Finally, it will address the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists and transit riders by adding much-needed sidewalks, transit signal priority and bus shelters. It will improve Pace Suburban Bus service along Route 223, which provides 62 weekday trips, and 22 and 19 trips on Saturdays and Sundays/holidays between the Rosemont station and Elk Grove Village's Industrial Park, the largest manufacturing district in the United States. In sum, the Touhy Project corrects existing mobility and safety deficits that will be further taxed by expected job creation and traffic increases in the densest job center in Cook County outside of downtown Chicago.

Current railroad crossing and Pace Suburban Bus stop to be addressed in the Touhy Avenue Multi-Modal Safety and Capacity Improvement Project

South Suburban Truck Routes

The County’s commitment to rebuild deteriorated county and municipal roads in Alsip, Harvey, Phoenix, Riverdale and South Holland has played a significant role in business retentions and expansions. Cook County has secured federal and state funding and contributed motor fuel tax revenue to improve truck routes in these industrial districts. This $20 million public investment supports businesses that employ 1,170 workers, are investing $62 million in their facilities, and expect to add 420 new jobs.

Before rebuild of Center Street

After rebuild of Center Street

Sterling Lumber

Truck route improvements led by Cook County in the Southland are already improving the economic prospects of businesses located in the most distressed communities. The partnership between Cook County and Sterling Lumber on the $1.5 million rebuild of 151st Street has led to impressive outcomes:

  • Retained a business with 112 employees that had outgrown its Blue Island headquarters;
  • Created 60 net new jobs;
  • 60% of new employees were unemployed at time of hire;
  • Sterling Lumber occupied a 67-acre Brownfield property that had been vacant for five years;
  • This $1.5M public investment leveraged $15M in private investment.

Sterling Lumber employees and the rebuilt 151st Street

The 606

In an effort to expand transportation choices for all users, Cook County contributed $2.26 million toward viaduct rehabilitation on The 606. The 606 converted the former Bloomingdale Line into a trail and park system. The improved non-motorized connectivity allows residents to walk and bike on this new regional trail.

New trail and park system on The 606

Skokie Valley Bridge over Lake Cook Road

Cook County is collaborating with Lake County to design and construct a multi-use bridge over Lake Cook Road. This $1.2 million project provides a safe way for bicyclists and pedestrians to cross the heavily-trafficked Lake Cook Road while also serving as an important component to completing the regional Skokie Valley Trail that will provide continuous non-motorized access from Lake County into the City of Chicago. Cook County is committed to working with local governments on the North Shore to implement projects that further the completion of this regional trail.

Rendering of Skokie Valley Bridge

Vollmer Road Viaduct

Cook County in partnership with the Village of Olympia Fields and with an appropriation of Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds by South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association is advancing the preliminary engineering for the redesign and reconstruction of the Vollmer Road viaduct and corridor. Trucks are often trapped at the juncture of Vollmer Road and the Canadian National Railroad, because the viaduct clearance does not accommodate the typical 13-13 ½ foot height of today’s trucks. Although height restrictions are posted, truckers regularly miss them and create a traffic blockage at this point because the 2-lane road is too narrow to allow them to turn around. The reconstruction will not only eliminate a freight bottleneck in the south suburbs but will spur additional economic growth for these communities. Additionally, this improvement will provide safe passage for pedestrians and bicyclists where no accommodation exists today.

Existing conditions at Vollmer Road Viaduct