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TDOT Selects 5 Winning Entries from Overhead Sign Safety Message Contest

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; February 9, 2015:

Winning Messages Selected after Thousands of Votes

NASHVILLE – Thanks to enormous public participation, TDOT has selected five winning messages for the first ever Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Nearly 3,400 message entries were submitted last month. Over the last two weeks, more than 9,000 votes were cast for the 15 messages selected as finalists. The messages covered issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding and aggressive driving.

The top five messages are:

  • “Texting and driving? Oh cell no!”
  • “Exit to text it.”
  • “It’s Tennessee. Slow down and enjoy the view.”
  • “Hey you! Yeah you! Hang up and drive!”
  • “Tailgating is for the game, not the road.”

The winning messages will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year.

“This contest has been an overwhelming success,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer.  “The purpose of the contest was to give the public a chance to partner with TDOT to raise safety awareness. So many great messages were received, and even if a submission didn’t win, there’s still a good chance that message may be seen from time to time on our DMS boards.”

A total of 163 Dynamic Message Signs are located in the state’s four urban areas (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville), and in some rural areas across the state. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts.

In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.

TDOT: Voting Begins on Overhead Sign Message Contest

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; January 26, 2015:

Voters Can Choose From 15 Finalists

NASHVILLE – Voting begins today to choose the winners from TDOT’s first ever Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Over the past two weeks, TDOT has received more than 3,400 entries for possible safety messages for the overhead signs located across Tennessee. The entries were narrowed down to 15 messages that cover safety issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding, and aggressive driving.

Voting is easy! Just visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/dms/default.shtml and check the box next to your favorite message. Voting will continue through Friday, Feb. 6, 2015. The winning messages will be posted online the following week, and will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year.

Some of the entries have been modified slightly to fit guidelines for the signs.

A total of 163 Dynamic Message Signs are located in the state’s four urban areas (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville), and in some rural areas across the state. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts. In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.

TDOT Announces 2 Grant Opportunities for Local Transportation Projects

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; September 22, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Department of Transportation is pleased to announce two grant opportunities designed to assist local communities with transportation projects and planning. This is the second grant cycle for the Multimodal Access Grants, and the first year for the Community Transportation Planning Grants.

The Multimodal Access Grant program supports the safety and transportation needs of transit users, pedestrians, and bicyclists through infrastructure projects that address existing gaps along the state highway network.

Examples of projects eligible under the Multimodal Grant Program include sidewalks and pedestrian crossing improvements, bus shelters, park and ride facilities, and bicycle lanes. Multimodal Access projects will be funded 95% by TDOT, with 5% funded with local matching funds. Total project costs are not to exceed $1 million.

Project requests for funding must be submitted to TDOT through Rural and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (RPOs/MPOs). Applications must be received by TDOT no later than December 10, 2014.

The Multimodal Access Grant guidelines and application are available on our website at: http://www.tn.gov/tdot/publictrans/fund.htm. For more information about the application or grant program, please contact Jessica Wilson at 615.741.5025 or by email at Jessica.L.Wilson@tn.gov.

The new Community Transportation Planning Grant program is being administered through TDOT’s Long Range Planning Division to assist smaller municipalities with transportation planning services. The program aims to help these communities develop local transportation plans that support the statewide transportation system. Planning activities eligible for the grants include corridor studies, complete street plans, local road concepts, transportation ordinances, pedestrian and bicycle master plans, road diet analysis, and transportation systems management and operations. The maximum grant for planning services shall not exceed $250,000 and will require a local 10% match.

Grant applications must be submitted through each municipal jurisdiction’s Regional Planning Organization. Applications must be submitted by the RPOs to TDOT no later than December 10, 2014.

The Community Transportation Planning information packet and application can be found at http://www.tn.gov/tdot/longrange/planninggrant.htm. For more information about the application or grant program, please contact Jack Qualls at 865.594.2662 or by email at Jack.Qualls@tn.gov.

TDOT Announces $27M in Air Quality Grants for 11 Communities

Press release from the Tennessee Department of Transportation; August 22, 2014:

Nashville, Tenn. – Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced today the award of over $27 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) grants in 11 communities across the state. The 31 grants will fund a wide range of transportation projects designed to reduce congestion and improve air quality.

Funded projects include expansions of the TDOT HELP truck program statewide, improvements in traffic signal timing, cleaner transit buses and alternative fuel vehicles purchases, and protected bicycle lanes in Chattanooga. The grants also include a multimodal river port in Clarksville, and expanded transit service in several areas. Another project will include the addition of a bicycle-pedestrian trail on the Harahan Bridge in downtown Memphis.

“These projects are helping our transportation network operate more efficiently, while also providing better transportation options for our citizens,” Commissioner Schroer said. “The result will be better air quality and reduced congestion, which improves the quality of life for Tennesseans and creates more livable communities all over the state.”

The CMAQ Program funds transportation projects that reduce air emissions from on-road sources (cars, trucks, buses) and non-road sources (locomotives, barges, road construction equipment), as well as projects that reduce traffic congestion. CMAQ projects are limited to nonattainment or maintenance counties where air quality fails to attain national health standards. For most CMAQ projects, TDOT will provide 80 percent of the project funding, with the remaining 20 percent provided by the local project sponsor.

“From better traffic signal coordination in Gatlinburg to expanded park and ride options for several Memphis communities, many of these projects will offer great benefits to travelers across the state,” said Deputy Commissioner Toks Omishakin, Chief of TDOT’s Environment and Planning Bureau. “Through this program, we are also making great strides in our efforts to reduce emissions and improve air quality.”

For a list of CMAQ grant recipients and detailed information on each project, please visit http://www.tdot.state.tn.us/news/2014/cmaq/.

Haslam Awards Shelbyville $361K TDOT Grant

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; August 11, 2014:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation Commissioner John Schroer announced today the award of a $361,440 transportation alternative grant to the city of Shelbyville for the North Square Sidewalk Improvement Project.

The project includes replacement of nearly 2,000 feet of existing sidewalks, and improvements to four intersections north of the City Public Square. This project continues the city’s efforts to provide pedestrian facilities to its downtown, and will build on previous improvements along the corridor. The project will also improve the aesthetics of the area, and encourage development in the downtown district.

“This project will support Shelbyville’s efforts to give its downtown a more vibrant, inviting appearance,” Haslam said. “We want to continue to make our state an even better place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality.”

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement, and is administered by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

A variety of activities such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

Sen. Jim Tracy (R-Shelbyville) and Rep. Pat Marsh (R-Shelbyville) represent Bedford County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Haslam Awards Greene Co $1.3M in TDOT, TDEC Grants

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 25, 2014:

GREENEVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced more than $1.3 million in grants to make downtown Greeneville and Walters State more pedestrian friendly, to improve energy efficiency in Greeneville’s Municipal Solid Waste Division with the purchase of a hybrid-automated garbage truck, and to convert the EastView pool into a splash pad.

“These types of projects strengthen our communities,” Haslam said. “Increasing energy efficiencies saves taxpayer dollars. Making our cities and towns more pedestrian friendly and improving our recreation areas improves the lives of Tennesseans. We want Tennessee to continue to be the very best place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality.”

A $1 million transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund phase I of the Walters State Community College Pedestrian Facilities Project located in downtown Greeneville near the intersection of N. Main Street and Tusculum Boulevard. Walkways will connect the Monumental entrance, Main Street entrance, the campus amphitheater, the Greeneville Historical Walkway, and sidewalks outside the campus.

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

A $197,000 Clean Energy Grant from Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) will be used to purchase an Autocar E3 Hybrid-automated garbage truck for Greeneville’s Municipal Solid Waste Division, replacing the conventional transmission to utilize hydraulic pressure to propel the truck and potentially saving Greeneville 2,908 gallons of fuel or $8,957 annually.

A $125,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund grant from TDEC to the town of Greeneville will go toward replacing the EastView pool with a new, state-of-the-art splash pad with numerous water features.

“From land acquisitions for new municipal parks to renovating and improving existing facilities, these grants help expand recreational opportunities for Tennessee citizens,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “We are always looking for ways to promote environmental awareness and energy efficiency, and these investments in our local communities help improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans.”

Clean Tennessee Energy Grants were established by the Haslam administration in 2012 to fund energy efficiency projects for local governments and municipalities, utilities, and other private and public organizations across Tennessee. These grants support projects designed to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency and create cost savings.

The Local Park and Recreation Fund is a 23-year-old state program that provides local governments with resources to support development and improvements to local parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities. Grant recipients were selected through competitive scoring with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.

Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), Rep. Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), and Rep. David Hawk (R-Greeneville) represent Greene County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Haslam Announces Nearly $600K in TDOT, TDEC Grants for Hardin Co

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 23, 2014:

SAVANNAH – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced three grants totaling $585,517 to fund phase II of the Pedestrian Sidewalk Project in Savannah, improve the Hank DeBerry Complex, and make Savannah’s City Hall more energy efficient.

“These types of projects strengthen our communities,” Haslam said. “Increasing energy efficiencies saves taxpayer dollars. Making our cities and towns more pedestrian friendly and improving our recreation areas improves the lives of Tennesseans. We want Tennessee to continue to be the very best place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality.”

A $243,913 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund phase II of the Pedestrian Sidewalk Project in Savannah, including construction of sidewalks on the east side of Tennessee Street from the southwest corner of the new Tennessee Street Park to Main Street. Sidewalks will also be installed along the north side of Main Street from the downtown district to Hogohegee Drive, which will connect the historic Cherry Street Mansion and the Tennessee River Overlook.

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

A $250,000 Local Park and Recreation Fund grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) for Hardin County and the city of Savannah will be used at the Hank DeBerry Complex to remove existing poles and fixtures at the ball fields and make upgrades to underground wiring and electrical panels to accommodate new energy efficient lights.

A $91,604 Clean Energy Grant from TDEC will be used to make Savannah’s City Hall more energy efficient by installing energy efficient ceiling lights, replacing 10 HVAC units with an energy efficiency of SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) 13, reconstructing a 4,600 square foot section of flat roof with energy saving materials to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling purposes, and constructing vestibules at the main three entrances to City Hall. The total estimated annual energy usage reduction is estimated to be 27,601 kWh, which is equivalent to 19.5 metric tons of greenhouse gas reductions. The estimated yearly savings for the upgrades will be approximately $3,126.

“From land acquisitions for new municipal parks to renovating and improving existing facilities, these grants help expand recreational opportunities for Tennessee citizens,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “We are always looking for ways to promote environmental awareness and energy efficiency, and these investments in our local communities help improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans.”

The Local Park and Recreation Fund is a 23-year-old state program that provides local governments with resources to support development and improvements to local parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities. Grant recipients were selected through competitive scoring with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.

Clean Tennessee Energy Grants were established by the Haslam administration in 2012 to fund energy efficiency projects for local governments and municipalities, utilities, and other private and public organizations across Tennessee. These grants support projects designed to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency and create cost savings.

Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Rep. Vance Dennis (R-Savannah) represent Hardin County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Haslam Awards Brownsville $715K TDOT Grant

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 23, 2014:

BROWNSVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) Commissioner John Schroer today announced a $715,844 transportation alternative grant to the city of Brownsville to fund Phase II of the Downtown Enhancements Project.

The project is located along Main Street from South Bradford Avenue to North Park Avenue and will include the removal and replacement of 1,800 linear feet of sidewalk, the relocation of utilities and new landscaping. The improvements will greatly improve pedestrian safety and mobility, and create a gateway into Brownsville.

“This project will enhance the character of downtown Brownsville and create a more pedestrian friendly environment,” Haslam said. “Tennessee’s downtowns are the heart of our communities, and improvements like these improve our cities and towns and the quality of life for residents.”

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

Sen. Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) and Rep. Craig Fitzhugh (D-Ripley) represent Haywood County in the Tennessee General Assembly.

Haslam Awards Shelby Co $1.4M in TDOT, TDEC Grants

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 23, 2014:

MEMPHIS – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced five grants totaling more than $1.4 million for Shelby County to make Walker Avenue in the University District more pedestrian friendly, enhance parks and recreation opportunities in Arlington, Collierville and Germantown, and to make the Shelby County Corrections facility more energy efficient.

“These types of projects strengthen our communities,” Haslam said. “Increasing energy efficiencies saves taxpayer dollars, and making our cities more pedestrian-friendly and enhancing our parks and recreation areas improves the lives of Tennesseans. We want Tennessee to continue to be the very best place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality.”

A $458,830 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund new curbs and gutters at crosswalks, new sidewalks, decorative park benches, bike racks, and pedestrian lighting along Walker Avenue in the University District adjacent to the University of Memphis.

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

Shelby County is also receiving three Local Park and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grants and a Clean Tennessee Energy Grant from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

“From land acquisitions for new municipal parks to renovating and improving existing facilities, these grants help expand recreational opportunities for Tennessee citizens,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “We are always looking for ways to promote environmental awareness and energy efficiency, and these investments in our local communities help improve the quality of life for all Tennesseans.”

A $250,000 LPRF grant will be used to construct athletic fields at the new Forrest Street Park in Arlington.

Another $250,000 LPRF grant will be used for the Wolf River Boulevard Greenbelt Trail in Collierville. Phase I of the project will include a .58 mile trail, two pedestrian bridges, an observation deck for wildlife viewing and educational opportunities, and a small trailhead with four parking spaces and entrance signage.

A $208,000 LPRF grant will be used for a hay barn pavilion at the Bobby Lanier Farm Park in Germantown. The pavilion will offer farm-based education and also serve as an event center.

The LPRF is a 23-year old state program that provides local governments with resources to support development and improvements to local parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities. Grant recipients were selected through competitive scoring with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.

A $250,000 Clean Tennessee Energy Grant will be used to make the Shelby County Corrections facility more energy efficient and sustainable. Shelby County will add multiple solar thermal systems on housing units to be used as the primary source for heating water instead of natural gas and an ozone laundry system to conserve on both natural gas and water. Inmates will be trained during the installation and maintenance of these products as a re-entry strategy. The estimated long-term savings over a 20-year period for the full project is more than $1.6 million.

Clean Tennessee Energy Grants were established by the Haslam administration in 2012 to fund energy efficiency projects for local governments and municipalities, utilities, and other private and public organizations across Tennessee. These grants support projects designed to reduce air emissions, improve energy efficiency and create cost savings.

Haslam Announces More Than $730K in Grants for Overton Co

Press release from the Office of Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam; July 22, 2014:

LIVINGSTON – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced three grants totaling more than $730,000 to enhance the public square and create a new two-acre park in Livingston and to improve the Hanging Limb Recreation Center in Overton County.

“We want Tennessee to continue to be the very best place to live, work and raise a family, and projects like these are key to making that a reality,” Haslam said. “Making downtown areas more inviting and accessible and enhancing our parks and recreation areas improve the lives of Tennesseans.”

A $450,953 transportation alternative grant from the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) will fund the Public Square Enhancements Project located near the historic Overton County Courthouse in downtown Livingston. The project includes the addition of decorative crosswalks at each of the square’s four corners and the replacement of sidewalks and handicap ramps. Once complete, the project will link the courthouse to other public buildings, local businesses and a future park and amphitheater.

The transportation alternative grant is made possible through a federally funded program formerly known as transportation enhancement and is administered by TDOT. A variety of activities, such as the restoration of historic facilities, bike and pedestrian trails, landscaping and other non-traditional transportation projects, are eligible for grant funds under the federal program.

“Through these grants, TDOT has funded more than $306 million in non-traditional transportation projects,” TDOT Commissioner John Schroer said. “This program has assisted communities all over the state in their efforts to revitalize downtowns, highlight historic areas, provide alternative means of transportation, and increase opportunities for economic development.”

Overton County is receiving two Local Park and Recreation Fund (LPRF) grants from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC).

A $250,000 LPRF grant will be used to create a new two-acre park in Livingston with a playground, splash pad, restroom facility, parking lot, vendor area, walking path, decorative lighting and fencing, picnic tables and benches.

A $32,000 LPRF grant will be used to improve the Hanging Limb Recreation Center, including building a basketball court, replacing a seesaw and merry-go-round, installing ADA-compliant surfacing throughout the playground area and constructing ADA-compliant parking and paths connecting various activities as well as ADA-compliant picnic tables and charcoal grills.

The LPRF is a 23-year old state program that provides local governments with resources to support development and improvements to local parks, greenways, trails and recreational facilities. Grant recipients were selected through competitive scoring with careful consideration given to the projects that met the selection criteria and expressed the greatest local recreation need. All LPRF grants require a 50 percent match by the recipient.

“From land acquisitions for new municipal parks to renovating and improving existing facilities, these grants help expand recreational opportunities for Tennessee citizens,” TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau said. “We are excited to work with each of these grantees and to see the future of these projects for this community.”

Sen. Charlotte Burks (D-Monterey) and Rep. John Mark Windle (D-Livingston) represent Overton County in the Tennessee General Assembly.