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Chattanooga receives $2M federal grant for innovative transit project


The city of Chattanooga has received $2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct crucial feasibility and design work on infrastructure components of the Westside Evolves plan. The funds are part of more than $50 million in grant awards issued to 34 technology demonstration projects across the country through the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. Residents have said that US-27 and Riverfront Parkway together contribute to the neighborhood’s isolation and residents’ feelings of separation from the broader fabric of Chattanooga. The Westside Evolves plan’s recommendations include two crucial new street connections, as well as other street improvements that will reconnect the disadvantaged neighborhood to economic, recreational, and social opportunities in Downtown Chattanooga and the Riverfront district. The goals of this grant-funded project are to use innovative technologies to make roads safer for all users in this area of Chattanooga and beyond, to make transit and other types of transportation more efficient, and to serve as a model for cities around the world. Initial project work will focus on planning and prototyping the best use of technologies to achieve the project goals. The city will lead the project and collaborate with six partners to deliver on the project goals: University of Tennessee Chattanooga, Audi, Leidos, Qualcomm, Harman, and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.