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2 New Grant Programs Set to Increase Roadway Safety

Passed in Congress in 2021, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law represents the largest federal investment in public transit in American history, with over $110,000,000,000 in funding for major roads and bridges projects alone.

Looking further into where the funds are set to be allocated, 2 new grant programs have been introduced that directly provide funding to make roadways safer by increasing the current safety measures and the adoption of new innovative technologies.

Let’s look at each of the grant programs and learn how you can take advantage of them to improve your workers’ safety and reduce your liability!

  • Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program
  • Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program

1. Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program

What is it?

Created under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program was created to help fund initiatives aimed at preventing roadway injuries and deaths.

What is the grant funding for?

Funding under the SS4A program is split into two different categories: Action Plan Grants and Implementation Grants.

Action Plan Grants are awarded to communities to aid in developing or updating an action plan to improve roadway safety. Examples of activities considered within the scope of an Action Plan Grant include safety analysis of current roadways, strategic planning for needed projects, and policy changes.

Implementation Grants, as the name suggests, fund the actual carrying out of projects and ideas created in an action plan. Some examples of activities supported within this grant include (but are not limited to) promoting new innovative safety technologies, improving road conditions, and enhancing emergency vehicle warning systems.

What is the total funding amount?

The program will award $5,000,000,000 in funds over the next 5 years, with $1,000,000,000 available to be awarded this year.

Who can apply?

To be eligible to apply, your organization must be one of the following:

  • Metropolitan planning organization
  • Counties, cities, town and transit agencies (as long as the agency was created under State law)
  • Federally recognized Tribal governments
  • Multijurisdictional groups made up of two or more of the above

Unfortunately, states and private-sector entities/contractors are not eligible to apply by themselves or as part of a multijurisdictional group. Although the USDOT does not permit these groups as applicants, it encourages those who do apply to work with them outside of the grant process to ensure effective administration.

When is the deadline to apply?

The deadline to apply for the 2022 fiscal year (FY22) is by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday, September 15, 2022. Any submissions received after this time will not be considered, so it is important to ensure you meet this deadline. You can learn more about the application process by visiting the US DOT SS4A web page.


2. Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program

What is it?

Also established under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant Program is primarily intended to fund projects that advance smart technology systems.

What is the grant funding for?

Within the BIL’s guidebook, a SMART grant must be used to carry out a project that involves one of the following:

  • Coordinated automation
  • Connected Vehicles
  • Intelligent, sensor-based infrastructure
  • Systems integration
  • Commerce delivery and logistics
  • Leveraging use of innovative aviation technology
  • Smart grid
  • Smart technology traffic signals

For more information about each of these categories visit the Grants Office website.

What is the total funding amount?

The total funding amount allocated by SMART Grants will be $500,000,000, with $100,000,000 being awarded per year through 2026. Of this, 40% of awards can go to large communities, 30% go to midsize communities, with the remaining 30% being allocated to rural communities.

Who can apply?

Unlike the SS4A Grant Program, states are also eligible to apply for this grant. Other eligible applicants include:

  • Political subdivisions of a state
  • Tribal governments
  • Public transit agencies
  • Public toll authority
  • Metropolitan planning organization

Groups of 2 or more of the above are also eligible to apply for funding.

When is the deadline to apply?

According to the official guidebook for the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, “a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is expected in the second or third quarter of 2022.” To ensure you don’t miss the application deadline, the U.S. Department of Transportation provides updates for upcoming NOFO announcements on their website.


This blog provides a summary of each grant program and does not include all eligibility and scope criteria and details.  Please visit the US DOT website for complete and detailed information about each program.


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