WASHINGTON (KNWA/KFTA) – U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $800 million in grant awards for 510 projects through the new Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) Grant Program.

The February 1 announcement included six grants for communities in Arkansas totaling more than $2 million. The competitive grant program, established by President Biden’s infrastructure law, will provide $5 billion over five years for regional, local, and Tribal initiatives, from redesigned roads to better sidewalks and crosswalks, to prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways, according to a media release.

“Every year, crashes cost tens of thousands of American lives and hundreds of billions of dollars to our economy; we face a national emergency on our roadways, and it demands urgent action,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg. “We are proud that these grants will directly support hundreds of communities as they prepare steps that are proven to make roadways safer and save lives.”

Traffic fatalities reached a 16-year high in 2021 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and preliminary data indicates that 2022’s statistics will remain at or near those levels. A new report shows the economic impact of traffic crashes was $340 billion in 2019 alone.

Specific awards in today’s grant include $280,000 for the City of Fort Smith Comprehensive Safety Action Plan Development and $700,000 toward Metroplan, part of the Central Arkansas Safety Action Plan. All of the grant awards can be seen here.