Chicago Works

Chicago Works Capital Improvement Plan: Investing In Communities Through Infrastructure

To optimize infrastructure investments and improve efficiencies the City of Chicago has developed a multiyear, needs-based Capital Plan that utilizes data to prioritize safety, equity, and cost effectiveness. Under the leadership of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot, the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) and the Department of Assets, Information and Services (AIS) led the development of this bold plan that will not only leverage capital improvements to spur local economic development and job creation but also mark a major advancement to the standard of public asset maintenance, and consequently the quality of life and livability of all Chicago communities.

The full Chicago Works plan is available online.

Chicago Works News:

Mayor Lightfoot Announces Five-Year Capital Plan for Chicago

Mayor Lightfoot Launches Chicago Works Infrastructure Plan with Kick-Off of Paving Season

Chicago Works - Bridges

Jobs And Contracts

Jobs for Chicagoans

In order to help City residents obtain jobs and take advantage of the opportunities created by Chicago Works, the City of Chicago has teamed up with the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership to fill positions created by City investments by working directly with contractors to identify job candidates. The City and Partnership have created two web-based services to connect contractors and job seekers who live in Chicago: 

Contractors Who Want to Hire Chicagoans can go to: 

City residents looking to obtain jobs and take advantage of the opportunities created by Chicago Works, can go to:

For more information about contract opportunities with the City of Chicago, visit the Department of Procurement Services’ eProcurement Solicitations site.

Project Selection Criteria and Project Categories

Project Selection Criteria

An integral piece of CDOT’s approach to infrastructure investments is a multifaceted decision-making process that considers a range of factors. At the core is a continual balancing of asset condition and equity when evaluating projects both within and between asset categories. The following factors are considered when selecting infrastructure investments:

  • Condition Assessment​: repair or replace infrastructure that is at or beyond its useful service life
    • Pavement Condition Index​
    • Street Light Vision Data​
    • Bridge Inspections​
    • Engineering Surveys​
  • Useful Life Analysis​
  • ADA Accessibility​
  • 311 Service Requests​
  • City Council/Aldermen
  • Coordination​
    • Invest South/West​
    • Vision Zero​: Eliminate traffic deaths and life-altering injuries.
    • Streets for Cycling Plan​
    • Freight + Public Transit​
    • Grants + Funding Alternatives​
  • Policy Initiatives: Advance projects which connect with and promote mobility, environment, safety, and community.​
  • Community Groups + Stakeholders​: Work collaboratively with aldermen and community stakeholders when making investment decisions in their community.
  • Equitable Distribution using Mobility and Economic Hardship (MOBEC) Index, a customized index that maps the combined mobility and economic hardship for all 77 of Chicago’s community areas.


Project Categories

CDOT builds and maintains transportation assets throughout the city, from sidewalks to streets to bike lanes to bridges and more. These are the assets that connect people to jobs, to school, and to each other. The Chicago Works capital improvement plan includes a variety of work that generally falls under the following categories:

Complete Streets

The City of Chicago is committed to building Complete Streets to ensure that everyone – people walking, taking the CTA bus/train, biking, or driving – can travel safely and comfortably along and across Chicago streets. Complete Streets give Chicagoans of all ages and abilities safer, cheaper, and healthier travel options. They support economic development and can incorporate environmental benefits and placemaking, which helps to create sustainable infrastructure and communities. The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) is working to bring these benefits to your community. Complete Streets investments in Chicago Works include: bike lanes, pedestrian improvements (pedestrian safety islands, curb extensions, crosswalks), pavement markings, and trees.

Sidewalks & Curbs

Sidewalks provide a safe and continuous path for people walking throughout the city. They connect to destinations in every neighborhood, including schools, parks, transit, businesses, and homes. Curbs provide a raised barrier between sidewalks and street paving, helping to reinforce where parking and travel lanes of the street end and the pedestrian realm begins. Sidewalk and curb investments in Chicago Works include: sidewalk repair/replacement, curb repair/replacement, and ADA curb ramp installation.

Bridges & Viaducts

Bridge and viaduct investments in Chicago Works include: bridge repair/replacement, underpass rehabilitation (including sidewalk, asphalt, lighting, and painting), and vertical clearance improvements to accommodate modern vehicle sizes.

Street Resurfacing

Chicago has more than 4,000 miles of streets that serve pedestrians, cyclists, buses, and motorists. Each year, CDOT resurfaces over one hundred miles of Chicago streets, including arterial streets, which move high volumes of traffic; collector streets, which connect with arterial streets and move traffic within neighborhoods; and residential streets, the lowest traffic volume streets. Street resurfacing investments in Chicago Works include: arterial streets and residential streets.

Street Lighting

Chicago has the largest public lighting infrastructure in the nation with 335,000 light fixtures, approximately 170,000 City-owned light poles, and 13,000 light circuits. Streetlight investments in Chicago Works include: repair/replace hazardous poles, and rewiring of circuits on arterial and residential streets.


Capital Improvement Suggestions

We’d like to hear from you about what types of capital projects we should invest in through the Chicago Works program. Please click on the survey link below to share your ideas and make suggestions for specific projects in your neighborhood. We are collecting this information for planning purposes and to better understand the kind of transportation improvements Chicagoans would like to see in their neighborhoods.

Please note that requests for many city services, such as potholes or street light outages, can be made through the CHI 311 System. We will receive notification of your request and will work to resolve it as soon as we can. The 311 system may ask you to create an account and although it’s helpful for tracking your 311 service requests, it’s not a requirement.  

Chicago Works Survey