Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Grant Programs

The Tennessee Department of Transportation oversees the annual distribution of millions of dollars in grant funds awarded to both statewide and local transportation-related projects. Popular grant programs are listed below. Visit www.tdot.state.tn.us/grantinfo/ for a more comprehensive list of TDOT grants.

Transportation Enhancements

There's been a lot of change in Tennessee since the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program began providing funds to local communities in 1991. More than $200 million in grants has been distributed by the Tennessee Department of Transportation. The money has gone to 180 communities across the Volunteer State. Local officials have used the funds to build sidewalks, bike and pedestrian trails, and to renovate historic train depots and other transportation related structures. The impact of some of the projects is primarily local, such as the Brian Brown Memorial Greenway in Martin and the Covington Square Streetscape project. Others, such as the 21st Century Waterfront Pedestrian Connection Project in Chattanooga, the Hotel Halbrook Railroad and Local History Museum and the wildflowers grown on roadways across the state, can be enjoyed annually by thousands of Tennesseans and tourists. Whether large or small, the projects serve the same purposes: improving access and providing a better quality of life for people in the state.

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Tennessee Roadscapes

Tennessee Roadscapes is a new initiative from The Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) that provides opportunities for a variety of environmental and beautification programs in Tennessee.

Through Tennessee Roadscapes, TDOT partners with city, county and community organizations for environmentally friendly landscaping projects along interstates and highways throughout the state. Well-planned landscaping programs create inviting spaces that boost our economy and improve our quality of life.

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Highway Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (HBRRP)

Every two years, the Tennessee Department of Transportation inspects all bridges in the State using National Bridge Inspection Standards. Bridges with a rating of 15 tons or less are prioritized from worst to best and then added to either the rehabilitation list or the replacement list. Once a bridge project has used HBRRP funds, it is not eligible for these funds for the next ten years.

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Interchange Lighting Program

Interchange Lighting Program funds are used to install lighting on eligible interstate or interstate-like facilities. The total cost of this improvement will be shared 50/50 by the State and the local agency.

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Local Interstate Connector

TDOT can provide funding for the construction, reconstruction or widening of existing roadways that connect to the interstate system using LIC funds. The local agency is responsible for 50% of the facility cost. Once the project is complete, the local agency is responsible for the maintenance of the facility.

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Safe Routes to School

The Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program is a federally-funded grant program focused on increasing levels of walking and bicycling to school among elementary and middle school students. In addition to improving children's safety and health, the program is designed to reduce traffic and air pollution in the vicinity of schools. Building on local initiatives, the SRTS program will fund the planning, development and implementation of infrastructure projects, as well as education and outreach activities.

In 2008, TDOT received 37 applications with a value of $7.1million in improvements. The applications represented a good mix of educational activities, major projects such as sidewalk segments and shared-use paths and minor improvements such as sign packages, crosswalks, and pedestrian signals. View a complete listing of 2007 and 2008 award recipients.

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Spot Safety Improvement

Usually limited to a maximum of $100,000 per project, these roadway improvements are intended to be used on, or at intersections with, state routes in areas where the population is less than 50,000, (preferably around 5,000). Some examples of spot safety improvement projects are: signalization, guardrail installation, addition of turn lanes, railroad crossing signalization, school signals, and land acquisition. The amount of state and/or local match of Federal funds varies by the type of project, but generally falls in the range of 0-20%.

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State Industrial Access Program

Local agencies can enter into agreements with the State to assist in providing access to new or expanding industrial facilities. Examples of the type of assistance are: design, right-of-way acquisition, and utility relocation. To be eligible for this type of funding, a public roadway must be designated as an "industrial highway". Once the project is complete, the local agency is responsible for the maintenance of the facility.

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Litter Grant

In order to address the litter problem in Tennessee, a specialty tax on the malt beverage and soft drink industry funds the Tennessee Department of Transportation Litter Grant Program. Grant funds are contracted to county governments only and are designed for the pickup of prevention of litter.

Approximately $5 million is raised annually and is distributed to all 95 counties in Tennessee for their use in this endeavor. A minimum grant of $34,237.00 and a maximum grant of $242,052.00 were determined by county road miles and county population for an equitable distribution on 2007-2008. A percentage of these funds are often re-distributed to a local Keep Tennessee Beautiful Affiliate to use for educational purposes

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Governor Highway Safety Office Grant

The Governor's Highway Safety Office provides grants to programs which are designed to reduce the number of fatalities, injuries and related economic losses resulting from traffic crashes on Tennessee's roadways. Local governments, law enforcement agencies, academic institutions, and private non-profits can apply for National Highway Safety Transportation Administration pass-through funding for projects related to various areas of highway safety. Eligible project areas are included in the State of Tennessee's Highway Safety Performance Plan.

Agencies can apply for funding in the following areas:

If you serve a county that has a greater than average rate of crash problems based on the 2003-2006 ranking (click here to view) you may qualify for a grant.

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