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Deadline approaching for ODOT's Transportation Alternatives Program

ODOT construction
A photo of construction crews working to repave parts of the southbound lane of I-35 between I-44 and I-40. Courtesy of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation on September 23, 2022.

The Oklahoma Department of Transportation says there's just one week left to apply for a grant program that allows governmental agencies or community organizations to ask for projects such as putting in new sidewalks or bicycle trails.

ODOT's TJ Gerlach says not only will these projects help to improve the quality of life for residents and communities, but they'll also help to address safety management.

"Safe routes to school," Gerlach said. "Adding a sidewalk to a busy area for those walking to their classes, the walkability of communities, safety and quality of life."

Gerlach said that eligible cities, towns, counties, schools, tribes, transit agencies, and non-profit organizations can apply for the $2.3 million in federal funding set aside for the Transportation Alternatives Program.

The amount of funding an organization will receive is dependent on the city's population.

Transportation officials said there are four categories communities fall into based on their size, including populations from 1 to 5,000, between 5,000 and 50,000, 50,000 to 200,000 and populations above 200,000.

Those approved for the grant money will also be required to match some of the funding.

"The local governments that are approved for these projects have to match some of the funding," Gerlach explained. "So for most of the communities involved it would be a 20% match, they would have to provide 20% of the funds and for the smallest communities, those under 5,000 in population they only need to match about 10%."

The last day to apply for the funds is September 30th. Those applications will be voted on and distributed sometime after ODOT's commission meeting in April.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.