The Federal Highway Administration said it awarded $53.68 million in grants to state departments of transportation and other agencies under its “Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment” program.
The grants will help fund projects in 10 states to improve mobility and safety for drivers and enhance the performance of the nation’s highway system, the announcement said.
The FHWA said its program, which it established under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015, assists “cutting-edge technologies that are ready to be deployed to enhance existing traffic capacity for commuters and businesses.”
Specifically, the new grants cover projects that include real-time traveler information for drivers, public transit riders and freight shippers, plus vehicle-to-infrastructure communications that are expected to both enhance safety and pave the way for autonomous vehicles, and congestion-relieving traffic management systems.
Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye Hendrickson said: “These technologies are the future of U.S. transportation. With innovations like these, we are giving state and local officials the tools needed to address the growing congestion problems of our nation’s highway system.”
In all, the FHWA said it received 68 applications from 52 states and localities requesting more than $362 million against a grant pool of nearly $54 million. Hendrickson said the high number of applicants was an indication of interest in the program, and of the increasing recognition that innovative solutions are needed to improve U.S. roadways highways.
The largest single award was nearly $12 million to the Florida DOT, for a series of projects in which FDOT, MetroPlan Orlando and the University of Central Florida will advance numerous information technologies in Orlando to make transportation safer and more accessible for drivers, transit riders, pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Texas DOT will use a $6.09 million grant in a “connected freight corridors” project to put connected-vehicle technologies into more than 1,000 commercial trucks and agency fleet vehicles, which will then be able to transmit data and receive warnings from 12 different advanced information systems.
And a $6 million grant to the Arizona DOT will go into its Phoenix-area “Loop 101 Mobility Project” that uses technology that supports “integrated corridor management” systems, public transportation and other real-time information sharing.
Other grants will support freight-specific port projects in Oakland, Calif., and Norfolk, Va., and to deploy driverless taxis serving employment centers in South Carolina’s Greenville County.
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