FHWA awards $49.6 million in advanced transportation and congestion management grants

Jan. 6, 2021
The grants help fund projects that improve mobility and safety, as well as support vehicle connectivity.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration awarded 10 projects a share of $49.6 million in Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grants. The program provides federal funding for use of advanced intelligent transportation systems (ITS) technologies that will improve mobility and safety and support vehicle connectivity. 

FHWA’s ATCMTD program funds early deployments of forward-looking technologies that can serve as national models. This year, in addition to ITS technologies to reduce congestion, the grants will fund projects that operate with connected and automated vehicle technologies.

“This $49.6 million in grant funding will support innovative solutions to improve connectivity and help prepare America’s transportation systems for the future,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

In Nashville, Tenn., the Metro Nashville and Davidson County Public Works Department was awarded a $1.5-million grant for the Charlotte Avenue/Dr. Martin L King, Jr. Blvd Transit Headways and Congestion Management project.

The project will develop connected transit technology on the Charlotte Avenue/Dr. Martin L King, Jr. Blvd corridor, which is one of the city’s most-used corridors with the slowest average travel times. This project will immediately improve transit service and capability, while also readying technological capacity to extend the deployment of connected vehicle technology throughout the region.

In addition to the federal grant, the Tennessee Department of Transportation has committed $1 million to the project and the Metro Public Works capital spending plan has $500,000 allocated to the project.

“We resisted the urge to hunker down and wait this pandemic out,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper. “Instead, we worked together and took affirmative steps for our future. Now, a week into the new year, we are a step closer to a Nashville that works for everyone.”

Another of the grant recipients with a transit component is the city of Dallas, which was awarded $4 million for the S.M. Wright Smart Corridor. The project will outfit the corridor with traffic signal improvements and connectivity, smart transit shelters, air quality sensors and broadband communications. Sidewalk freight delivery technology will be paired with bicycle and pedestrian improvements and work zone management strategies to transform the corridor across multiple transportation modes. The resulting corridor will be optimized for connected vehicles and more efficient freight delivery while the surrounding low-income communities will benefit from improved safety at pedestrian crossings, new economic opportunities and potential neighborhood revitalization.

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) was awarded $6 million to deploy integrated corridor management strategies along the US-95 in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The project will deploy, evaluate and refine the use of emerging technologies and data analytics, focusing on active traffic management, wrong-way driver systems, strategic traffic management and high-occupancy vehicle detection. This will include the deployment of various sensors and devices, communications networks, analytical tools and related technologies.

Additional projects to be awarded grants include:

  • $2.1 million to the Virginia Port Authority for the Autonomous Truck Ready project;
  • $3.2 million to the Georgia Department of Transportation for the Emergency Vehicle Preemption Using Connected Vehicle Technology project;
  • $3.4 million to the Maine Department of Transportation for the Maine Advanced Signal Control and Connected Vehicle System for Safe, Efficient and Equitable Rural Transportation project;
  • $4.6 million to Pinellas County, Fla., for the Pinellas Connected Community project;
  • $5.45 million to Utah Department of Transportation for use on seven projects to advance connected vehicle systems in both urban and rural communities;
  • $9.29 million to the San Diego Association of Governments for the Advancing Connectivity and the Economy Through Technology in the San Diego Region initiative; and
  • $9.95 million to the University of Michigan for the Smart Intersections: Paving the Way for a National CAV Deployment Project.

FHWA says it evaluated 46 applications requesting more than $205 million. The program is in its fifth year and has funded more than 45 projects worth $256 million.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.