Creative Funding Mechanisms: Paying for Large Infrastructure Projects

In an era of reduced involvement from government at all levels, how do planners get creative to fund major infrastructure projects? This topic will look at how recent and ongoing projects in Chicago, including the Red and Purple Modernization Project and the expansion of the Chicago Riverwalk, were funded and emerging trends of infrastructure funding.

Carole Morey serves as Chief Planning Officer of the Chicago Transit Authority, the nation’s second largest transit agency, where she oversees  the Service Planning , Scheduling, Strategic Planning, Real Estate, Public Art and Ridership Analytics functions of the agency. She has responsibility for planning over $6 Billion of major capital projects, including the Red Purple Modernization, the Blue Line Forest Park Reconstruction and the Red Line extension projects.  Prior to heading planning, Carole served the CTA as a Chief Attorney, as a General Manager of Construction and as Vice President, Infrastructure where she had responsibility for the CTA’s Capital Construction program, including  projects such as Red Line South and Wilson Station.  She was also instrumental in developing CTA’s design/build and alternative procurements programs.  Carole has a B.A. in Political Science and Government from Northwestern University and a J.D. from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Fran Lefor Rood, AICP is a Senior Vice President at SB Friedman Development Advisors and a 2008 MUPP. Fran offers customized advice grounded in real estate market potential, financial feasibility, and community and development goals. Her strategic recommendations have been key to informing numerous policy and development decisions. Fran has analyzed the capacity of value capture mechanisms to fund transit improvements for the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and led the designation of a new type of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district to generate revenue in support of the first phase of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Red and Purple Modernization Program.

Michelle Woods has more than twenty years of experience in municipal government working for the City of Chicago.  Currently she is a project manager for the Department of Fleet and Facility Management where she is working on developing the Chicago Riverwalk into a viable City asset allowing uninterrupted access along the Chicago River from Lake Street to the Lake front. Previously, Michelle worked for the Department of Transportation’s Division of Engineering on the design and construction of $450,000,000 in infrastructure projects. Michelle is a graduate of DePaul University where she received a degree in Urban Studies and French.