The Rockford Complete Streets project, recently awarded a RAISE grant, is underway! This project is a result of numerous planning efforts that have taken place over the years, including a recommendation from the Rockford Downtown Plan. The City of Rockford and the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) in collaboration with Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD), Region 1 Planning Council (R1PC), HR Green Inc., Hanson Professional Services Inc., and The Lakota Group, are implementing Phase 1 of the Complete Streets project on US-Business 20, along Walnut and Chestnut. Join us on Wednesday April 19 to share your thoughts on the proposed Plan!


Increasing safety along the downtown Rockford corridors is a primary concern this project addresses. The current 3- and 4-lane downtown arterial loop is a product of Rockford’s manufacturing history. The decline of this once-prominent industry left long stretches of wide-open roadway, promoting unsafe automobile speeds in an intersection–rich and pedestrian dense central business district. Between 2014 and 2020, 1,084 crashes have occurred along the project roadways in downtown Rockford.

The City of Rockford is committed to developing a safe, efficient, accessible, and integrated multi-modal transportation network that balances the need and desire for access, mobility, economic development, and aesthetics while providing for the health and well-being for people of all ages. This commitment is the result of many planning efforts that the City has undertaken over the years, including the Complete Streets Policy.

To help bring this goal to fruition, the City has adopted the Rockford Complete Streets Revitalization Project, which envisions the elimination of a vehicular traffic lane along US-Business 20 (EB) from Avon Street to East State Street, converting the space to a dedicated two-way bicycle facility. The project also includes a Downtown Bus Circulator and necessary infrastructure accommodations, to make sure Rockford is a place for all!

How will Rockford benefit?

Multi-modal enhancements implemented by the proposed project will provide residents, visitors, patients, students, and employees with improved access to the essential services and amenities throughout downtown. This includes but is not limited to jobs, health care, social services, educational institutions, and recreational/cultural amenities. Active infrastructure, associated with overall improvements in physical and social health, are woven into the project as well.

Most importantly are the populations that the project will impact. An overwhelming majority of citizens in the project impact area are categorized as low-income, in addition to the largest share of the population identifying as a person of color. Therefore, the project will be increasing access to jobs, healthcare, social services, etc. for the most traditionally underserved populations.

The Downtown Rockford Complete Streets Revitalization Project is a key element that ties together millions of dollars of infrastructure development downtown that continues to attract and support multi-modal transportation into the project area. The awarded RAISE funds would complement an explosion of growth already occurring within downtown Rockford and would leverage this growth for years to come. Since 2001, over $1 Billion have been invested by private and public entities in downtown properties.


In case you did not know, the proposed street redesign and reconstruction will happen in downtown Rockford: starting from the corner of US Business 20 and 1st Avenue, crossing IL 251, IL 2, then turning and looping briefly through West State Street as it turns into one-way Chestnut Street, travelling east across the Chestnut Street Bridge into Walnut Street, then 1st Avenue, and back to US Business 20. This redesign will allow those with fewer resources to have equitable access to a wide breadth of services.


Complete streets aim to create a balanced transportation system that accommodates the needs of all users, regardless of age, ability, or mode of transportation. This means that complete streets prioritize the safety and convenience of pedestrians and cyclists, as well as public transit users, in addition to motorists. By creating streets that are accessible and safe for all users, complete streets can help to reduce traffic congestion, improve air quality, promote active living, and enhance community livability.


The estimated total cost to design and construct Phase 1 of the Downtown Rockford Complete Streets Revitalization Project is $22,364,710. The total Federal RAISE fund request received is $16,384,905. For the non-federal match, upon award the City of Rockford is contributing $2,900,000 from their local Capital Improvement Program, Illinois Department of Transportation is providing $2,601,076, and Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD) is contributing $610,299 from deferred revenue. The City of Rockford is also committed to soliciting private contributions towards the non-federal match but have signed letters committing the full local amount listed if needed.



The Rockford Complete Streets Project is underway!

Meet the Team

City of Rockford

The City of Rockford

The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) is the project lead for this effort.


Rockford Mass Transit District (RMTD) is a team member collaborating through the implementation of a circular route and new buses.

Regional 1 Planning Council (R1PC) is a team member and grant writer and coordinator.



HR Green

Founded in 1913, HR Green provide engineering and technical management consulting to clients in diverse geographies and markets. We have a healthy balance of private sector and public sector clients and understand the nuances and specific knowledge that is required to serve both successfully. Learn more >

The Lakota Group

The Lakota Group has 30 years of experience in urban planning and community engagement. The Lakota Group is supporting the team with engagement and outreach. Learn more >

Hanson Professional Services is a team member assisting and coordinating with the team.