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Grant Information

The Tennessee Department of Transportation oversees the annual distribution of millions of dollars in grant funds awarded to both state and local transportation-related projects. Current grant projects are listed below. Select the title to view additional information on that specific program.

Aeronautics Grants
The TDOT Aeronautics Division administers federal and state funding to assist in the location, design, construction and maintenance of Tennessee's diverse public aviation system. Except for routine expenditures, grant applications are reviewed by the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission (TAC), which is a five member board charged with policy planning and with regulating changes in the state airport system plan.
Biofuel Green Island Corridor Grants
As part of the Governor’s Alternative Fuels Working Group, TDOT oversees Green Island Corridor (GIC) grants to help establish E85 ethanol and B20 biodiesel pumps no more than 100 miles apart along interstate highways and major highway corridors across the state. This network of stations will encourage and expand the use of biofuels in Tennessee, which in turn will stimulate rural economic development, increase farm income, reduce vehicle emissions, help protect public health, and reduce dependence on petroleum.
Bridge Grants
The Bridge Grant Program was established to assist local governments with the replacement or rehabilitation of deficient bridges under their jurisdiction. Since the inception of the original program in 1982, local governments, in partnership with the state, have replaced over 2,800 bridges utilizing Bridge Grant funds.
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Grants
The Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) program provides funding for transportation projects that reduce mobile source air emissions (e.g., cars, trucks, construction equipment) in areas that do not meet federal air quality health standards for ozone, microscopic particles or carbon monoxide. Federal CMAQ funds are apportioned to TDOT to be invested by the state and local metropolitan planning organizations in projects and programs that help achieve and maintain federal air quality health standards.
Transportation Alternatives Grants
Transportation Alternatives (TA) are federally-funded, community-based projects that expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by integrating modes and improving the cultural, historic, and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure. TA projects must be one of 10 eligible activities and must relate to surface transportation. The former Enhancement Program began providing funds to local governments in 1991. More than $317 million in grants has been distributed by the Department to local communities across the State to build bike and pedestrian facilities, provide streetscape improvements and to renovate historic transportation-related structures. Whether large or small, the projects serve the same purpose - improving access and providing a better quality of life for people in the State. 
Tennessee Highway Safety Office Grants
The Tennessee Highway Safety Office (formerly 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.
Litter Grants
In order to address the litter problem in Tennessee, a specialty tax on the malt beverage and soft drink industry funds the Tennessee Litter Grant Program. Grant funds are contracted to county governments only and are designed for the pick-up and prevention of all litter. Approximately $5 million is raised annually and is distributed to all 95 counties in Tennessee for their use in this endeavor.
Local Programs Grants
TDOT’s Local Programs Development Office oversees federal and state funding programs that are available to local governments to improve transportation systems. Local Programs grants include, but are not limited to, the Interchange Lighting Program, Surface Transportation Program, and Local Interstate Connector Program.
Contact Whitney Sullivan with the Local Programs Office at 615-253-1387 or Whitney.Sullivan@tn.gov for additional information.
 
Multimodal Access Grants
TDOT’s Multimodal Access Grant is a new, state-funded program created to support the transportation needs of transit users, pedestrians and bicyclists through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along state routes. Multimodal facilities play an important role in providing transportation choices for people across Tennessee. With half of all trips in the United States three miles or less, good walking, biking and transit facilities are essential to the continued growth and success of our towns and cities. Multimodal Access projects are state-funded at 95 percent with a 5 percent local match. Total project costs must not exceed $1 million. Click here to be directed to the Multimodal Access Grant webpage. 
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 funds the planning, development and implementation of infrastructure projects, as well as education and outreach activities. For more information, click here or contact Diana Benedict at 615-253-2421 or Diana.Benedict@tn.gov.
 
Transit Program Grants

TDOT oversees the provision of funds for multiple statewide public transit initiatives. Funding/Grant programs include:

  • Urbanized Area Grants – provides funds to urbanized areas with populations of more than 50,000 for transit operating and capital assistance and for transportation-related planning. For areas under 200,000 in population, funds are apportioned on the basis of population and population density. For areas over 200,000 in population, funds are apportioned based on population, population density, and transit data.
  • Capital Investment Grants – provides discretionary capital assistance for the purchase of new equipment, acquisition of property, and the construction of public transit facilities.
  • Metropolitan Planning – provides funds to Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) and directly to some urban transit systems to support the costs of preparing long range transportation plans and financially feasible Transportation Improvement Plans and conducting intermodal transportation planning and technical studies.
  • Elderly and Persons with Disabilities Grants – provides transit capital assistance, through the state, to private non-profit organizations and public bodies that provide specialized transportation services to elderly and/or disabled persons.
  • Non-Urbanized Area Grants – provides funds to each state for state administration, planning, and technical assistance and for transit capital, operating, and project administration assistance in areas with populations of less than 50,000.
  • State Planning and Research Grants – funding available to each state for the purpose of technical studies and assistance, demonstrations, planning, management training, and cooperative research activities.
  • Job Access and Reverse Commute Grants – provides grants for administrative, operating and capital assistance to local governments and non-profit organizations to develop transit services to connect welfare recipients and low-income persons to employment and support services.
  • State Operating Assistance Program – assists local governments in meeting public transportation needs throughout the state.
  • Rural Transit Assistance Program (RTAP) – provides a wide variety of technical assistance, training materials, and publications to rural transit professionals.
  • Urban Transit Assistance Program (UTAP) – provides technical assistance, training materials, information networks, and workshops for urban transit professionals.
  • Statewide Transit Student Internship Program – exposes college students to the field of Public Transportation with the hope that their experience will encourage them to enter the field as a career.
  • Families First Transportation – a joint effort between Departments of Transportation and Human Services for the coordination of Families First transportation services, utilizing the Rural and Urban Transit Systems. Transportation Services include: mass transit passes, van service, and reimbursement for participants who are able to provide their own transportation.
  • Commuter Ridesharing/TDM (CMAQ) – provides funds for on-line Rideshare matching software, free transit ozone alert days, vanpool acquisition and TDM Commuter Technical Assistance. Funds will be expended only in those counties and urbanized areas designated as non attainment areas by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Truck Stop Electrification Technology Grants
TDOT has received a $2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish truck stop electrification (TSE) technology at truck stops along Tennessee interstate corridors. This technology provides cooled or heated air to truck sleeping berths and allows truck drivers to turn their engines off, save fuel and money, and reduce air emissions while staying comfortable in the truck cab. TDOT is soliciting competitive grant applications from truck stops to purchase and install TSE technology at selected locations along interstate highways. Additional grant information is available below.

 

TDOT administered grants, as they are awarded, are announced though news releases posted in the TDOT Newsroom.