Competitive federal grants awarded for regional bicycle and pedestrian improvements

The Town of Sahuarita will build a multi-use path on Pima Mine Road using federal grant money.

Five regional pedestrian and bicycle improvement projects will receive grant funding totaling $8.2 million from a federal transportation alternatives program that targets regional priorities through smaller scale projects, such as pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

The five projects were chosen through a competitive selection process established by Pima Association of Governments under a delegated federal legislative authority. Industry professionals representing the Tucson Airport Authority, University of Arizona, and Town of Marana were invited by PAG to serve on the selection panel. The panel reviewed the applications, listened to project presentations, scored projects, and recommended amounts for programming in PAG’s five-year transportation improvement program, which assigns funds to regional projects over a five-year period.

A required 5.7% non-federal funding match will be covered by the Regional Transportation Authority’s environmental and economic vitality element for greenways, pathways, bikeways and  sidewalks. The federal grant funding will go toward delivering RTA categorical projects in the 2006 voter-approved RTA plan commitments.

PAG Programming Manager Carolyn Laurie said this federal transportation funding opportunity is known locally as Regional Transportation Alternative Grants (RTAG).

“This funding source, which increased as part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, provides our region with additional resources to do those smaller projects that are needed,” she said. “In this case, the funding is an extra boost to delivering environmental and economic vitality projects in the RTA plan.”

Awarding of the grants is subject to availability of federal funds. The amounts may be adjusted based on allocation of funds at the time the project is ready to get underway. PAG will next coordinate with the applicants to identify project readiness for allocation of federal funds for the RTA projects.

The following projects were approved to receive RTAG funding:

  • Pima Mine Road multi-use path, Town of Sahuarita
  • Naranja Drive multi-use path: La Cañada Drive to First Avenue, Town of Oro Valley
  • Sahuara Avenue bike boulevard, City of Tucson
  • Copper/Flower Street bike boulevard, City of Tucson
  • Palo Verde Road sidewalks, Pima County