DOT Awards $14.7 Million for Rural Road Safety

Fourteen states, three counties, and two parishes competed for and will receive $14.7 million in Rural Safety Innovation Program (RSIP) funds to improve safety on rural roads, Deputy Secretary Thomas J. Barrett announced recently.

"Making one road safer is important, but making rural roads around the country less deadly is absolutely essential," said U.S. Transportation Deputy Secretary Thomas J. Barrett, who personally presented awards to officials in Mississippi on Aug. 27. "Thanks to these funds our rural roads are on their way to becoming as safe as they are beautiful."

Rural roads carry less than half of America's traffic but account for more than half of the nation's vehicular deaths. Last February, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched the "Rural Safety Initiative" to address this issue.

Though last year's fatality rate--1.37 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled--is the lowest in the nation's history, Barrett said the 41,059 fatalities in 2007 remain "entirely too high."

The awards, made possible by funds from the DOT’s Delta Region Transportation Development Program and Intelligent Transportation Systems Program, are part of a $287 million effort to help local and state governments reduce crashes on dangerous rural roads.

The recipients, awarded amounts, and projects are: Arizona DOT, $480,000, I-10 Severe Weather Warning System; Arkansas Highway and Transportation Dept., $1,540,786, Cable median barrier on I-55 in Crittenden County; California DOT, $1,575,175, Coordinated speed management in work zones; California/El Dorado County, $304,000, Intersection safety using ITS technologies; Colorado DOT, $324,390, Speed management on US 160 Wolf Creek Pass Snow Shed; Colorado DOT, $140,749, Speed information on approach to curves on US 50 in Fremont County; Illinois DOT, $344,000, Rural curve improvement strategy on county and township highway; Illinois DOT, $40,000, Vehicle actuated advanced warning on curves; Iowa DOT, $500,000, Traffic and criminal software improvements; Kansas DOT, $284,000, Dynamic message signs and road weather information system; Louisiana/Rapides Parish, $1,140,943, Roadway departure crash reduction action plan; Louisiana/Grant Parish, $597,954, Roadway departure crash reduction action plan; Louisiana DOT, $1,925,983, Rural intersection safety implementation plan; Minnesota DOT, $160,000, Installation of dynamic curve warning systems; Mississippi DOT, $1,925,983, Low-cost road departure crash countermeasures; Mississippi/Hinds County, $303,552, Low-cost road departure crash countermeasures; Missouri DOT, $800,000, Dynamic message signs and closed-circuit TV on I-57, I-55 and US 60; South Carolina DOT, $840,000, Decrease hydroplaning on US 25 in Greeneville County; Tennessee DOT, $650,800, Sign inventory and Assessment/Management System Project; Washington/King County, $202,400, Advanced curve warning and driver feedback signs; and Wisconsin DOT, $609,000, Rural thru-stop intersection crash prevention.

For more information, visit www.dot.gov/affairs/ruralsafety.

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