After much brainstorming by the Illinois Lincoln Highway Coalition (ILHC) and the mural designer Jay Allen, the elements of the mural project were worked into a plan. The next step was to seek out project dollars to put the plan into action. ILHC Project Direct Bonnie Heimbach, did this by way of writing and applying for grants available for byways, that would pay for the murals in selected communities across the State of Illinois.
Funding for the entire mural project was awarded to the ILHC from a National Scenic Byway Grant from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and an Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Office of Tourism, Attraction Development (TAP) Grant. This allowed the mural series to be produced, further enhancing cultural heritage tourism in Illinois, presenting one of the largest works of public art in the country.The Illinois Lincoln Highway murals are valued at $10,000 each. Each community chosen to receive a mural had very little monetary obligation to the project.
Their only expense was the cost of the materials and labor to build their custom mural frame, usually $200.00 or less.