The Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department announced on Friday the recipients of more than $17.8 million devoted to improving biking and walking infrastructure around the state. Funds from the Transportation Improvement Program (TAP) and the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) are available every year from the federal government and administered by the state agency. Eighty-six projects around the state were awarded funds ranging from $23,000 to $500,000.
AHTD spokesman Danny Straessle says the applicants had to prove they’d match 20 percent of the funding for their projects.
“There’s a review committee here at the department that goes through those applications and makes awards based on the best projects that are out there; ones that we can further, ones that look like a good start for a community that hasn’t received something in the past,” says Straessle.
He says the TAP and RTP awards represent a subset of funding available for public infrastructure projects around the nation.
“There are different categories of funding. Some types of funding you can only spend on bridges. Some types of funding you can only spend on highways. It’s just not this large pool of money that you can spend on anything that comes along. And so in this case, this is federal money that has been set aside for alternatives to motorized, vehicular transportation,” Straessle says.
Most of the award recipients were city governments or higher education institutions. Projects include sidewalk construction, biking and hiking trails.
Click here for the 2016 list of projects.