Report Proposing a Program and Project Prioritization Framework for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT)

As part of its reorganization and revision of its Long Range Transportation Plan, IDOT  is developing  a system for project development and prioritization and a comprehensive system of performance measures for policies, programs, and projects.

The Urban Transportation Center (UTC) was tasked to research how to support and improve current systems at IDOT for project development and prioritization that reflects current thinking in other states and at FTA. This first phase of the research focused on a framework that could be more readily applied to larger policies and programs and would be consistent with and adaptable to scoring systems for specific project scoring. The report includes a review of best practices in state programs and FTA/TRB research and then, based on that review, proposes a framework that would enhance IDOT efforts.

The proposed Performance Based Prioritization (PBP) framework emphasizes a comprehensive approach.  It would create a consistent agency-wide approach from Project Conception to Construction which would lead to more effective project development and evaluation.

Principal Investigator(s):

Robert E. Ginsburg, Ph.D.


Robert E. Ginsburg, Ph.D.
Ian Brown, JD




The objective of this report is to provide IDOT with the process, tools, and substance (e.g. Framework) to consistently — yet flexibly — discuss and evaluate any transportation policy, investment, or project and based on an adjustable mix of performance-data and local input.

Expected Results or Products:

The proposed plan incorporates several aspects including an economic focus from several state and federal plans while providing a complementary structure to IDOT’s Long Range Transportation Plan.  It is tailored to IDOT’s current broad reorganization needs and project implementation.  The proposed framework has several unique aspects including:

  • Consistent framework and categories to provide strategic talking points/agency-wide criteria and consistency across modes, scales, agencies as well as between policies, programs and projects;
  • Consideration of asset preservation proposals on an equal basis to new projects;
  • Requirement that technical merits be clearly defined and evaluated in parallel with cost and equity.

To access the report, please click on the links below.

Proposal for a Program and Project Prioritization Framework.1-50.

Proposal for a Program and Project Prioritization Framework.51-97.


Robert E. Ginsburg, Ph.D.
Urban Transportation Center
University of Illinois at Chicago
412 South Peoria Street, Suite 340
Chicago, IL 60607
Voice: (312) 996-6480
Fax: (312) 413-0006


Illinois Department of Transportation

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