Grants totaling $29.2 million to help Kentucky cities improve pedestrian safety

January 17, 2024

The Kentucky cities of Lexington and Louisville will use a pair of U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) grants totaling $29.2 million to improve street safety, including a $21.7 grant for Lexington to reconstruct a section of Northeast New Circle Road — the city’s highest fatal and serious-injury corridor.

Thirty-four fatal or severe crashes occurred along the commercial and residential corridor from 2015-2021, according to a city release. Nearly half of the incidents included pedestrians or bicyclists navigating areas without access to sidewalks and few ADA-accessible transit stops. 

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government (LFUCG) will use the federal grant to reconstruct the section of road from Development Drive to Bryan Station Road northeast of the city’s downtown. Planned safety upgrades call for restricted-crossing U-turns and increasing and improving pedestrian crossing locations.

Other improvements will include additional lighting, raised crossing islands and construction of a 10-foot-wide shared use path on both sides of the roadway. Funds will also support a countywide safety education program targeting safe driving behaviors. Plans also call for the establishment of a Vision Zero coordinator to implement recommendations of the Lexington Area Safety Action Plan, which aims to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries by 2050.

Separately, Louisville Metro Government will use a $7.5 million federal grant for a $12.5 million project to convert Second and Third streets into two-way roadways — a departure from their current one-way configuration. Work is slated to start in 2024, with anticipated completion in 2027.

Emphasizing the project area’s population density in the city’s downtown and the University of Louisville, USDOT officials said the corridor’s one-way design “can often be dangerous for pedestrians because of fast vehicle speeds.”

In addition, the project calls for rebuilding traffic signals, transforming some signals into all-way stops and building visibility enhancements and lighting at every intersection. The project also includes bicycle lanes, sidewalk repairs, ADA-compliant ramps and dedicated left- and right-turn lanes. Plans call for rebuilding traffic signals to box spans with retroreflective backplates and the addition of curb extensions. 

Lexington and Louisville are two of 385 communities receiving grants from USDOT’s five-year Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) program. The federal agency announced SS4A grants worth a combined $817 million in December.

The agency awarded over $1.7 billion from the planned $5 billion allocated for the program from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) in 2023. The application window for the next round of SS4A grants will open in February 2024.

Strategic Partnerships, Inc. can provide information on contract opportunities, plus existing and future government funding. For more information, contact

Photo by Madgeek1450

Paul Stinson

Paul Stinson has more than 15 years of journalism experience, including a decade covering the legislative and regulatory affairs of Texas, South Africa, and Germany for an affiliate of Bloomberg, L.P. His experience includes covering voting rights and the sectors of environment, energy, labor, healthcare, and taxes. Stinson joined the team in October as a reporter for SPI’s news publications, which include Government Contracting Pipeline, Texas Government Insider, and the newly-launched Government Market News. He is also a Fulbright Scholar to Germany, and an Arthur F. Burns Fellow. He holds a master’s in journalism from Indiana University.   

Don't Miss

Massive support, funding now available to improve supply-chain networks

New opportunities for multimodal freight, rail, and port projects are
A hospital hallway.

New hospitals greenlit for Amarillo, Wichita Falls

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is searching