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Economic Development Program (EDP)

The purpose of the Economic Development Program (EDP) is to provide state assistance in improving highway access to new or expanding industrial distribution or tourism developments. The intent is to make available state matching funds that will be a positive contribution in the location-selection process and to target those projects which will expand the state's existing job base or create new employment opportunities. The focus of the program is on the retention and creation of permanent full-time jobs. Funding will be available to construct highway facilities that provide direct access to industrial, distribution or tourism developments. The program is designed to assist in those situations where development of these types of facilities is imminent. Projects which only improve opportunities for development or are speculative in nature are not eligible for EDP funding. Projects providing access to retail establishments, office parks, government facilities or school/universities are not eligible for EDP funding.

How does funding work?

The EDP program is designed to provide up to 50 percent state funding for eligible locally owned roadways, and 100 percent state funding for roadway improvements on state owned routes. The remaining 50 percent match will be provided by local government entities or private sources. However, IDOT can only enter into an agreement with a local body of government (i.e. township, city, village or county). Although it is a requirement of the program for the sponsor to contribute local money to the project, as of January 1, 2012, IDOT will allow grants from other state agencies as an allowable funding source for the sponsor’s 50 percent match if the local agency has participated in the project in some fashion such as preliminary engineering, donation of land, etc).

The EDP is a program for reimbursement of a portion of eligible costs of an approved project and is not a grant program. Each year the department sets aside $10 million for the program. This funding allows the department to contribute up to $2 million maximum to local economic development projects.

When to Apply

The local sponsor should apply for funding as soon as possible after the project site and an appropriate range of access needs are identified. Notification of the Bureau of Statewide Program Planning will trigger a site evaluation process which must occur before review of the funding application can begin.

Since it is imperative that the department received an “accurate” cost estimate with the EDP application, Preliminary Engineering (PE) work must be completed prior to applying for or being approved for Economic Development Program (EDP) funds. In order to address this, IDOT will allow for reimbursement of the eligible engineering related to the EDP project as long as the following three conditions are met:

Eligibility Criteria

The cost-effectiveness of each investment of EDP dollars is a major factor in the evaluation of proposed projects. Priority considerations are:

  • Need for the highway improvement and imminence of development.
  • Compatibility of the proposed roadway with the design of the existing roadway system.<
  • Primary jobs created or retained in Illinois and total developer site cost estimate.
  • Annual and peak day attendance at tourist developments.
  • Commitment of the industrial/distribution/tourist development to the site to be served by facility.
  • Willingness of the sponsoring local government to participate in the local share of the improvement cost.

Examples of Non Eligible Items

  • Land Acquisition
  • Building demolition
  • Landscaping
  • Sidewalks
  • Street lighting
  • Utility adjustments