At a recent meeting of the South Dakota Transportation Commission, Joel Jundt – secretary of the South Dakota Department of Transportation – outlined his agency’s plan to provide more than $33 million in funding allocations to 18 “class one” cities with a population of over 5,000 and 66 counties in 2023 to help maintain, preserve, repair, and reconstruct roads and bridges statewide.
[Above photo by the South Dakota DOT]
He said $27.4 million of that $33 million will be provided in state funds directly to the counties and cities, with the remaining balance of funds used for reimbursement on federal aid projects as determined by local governments.
“A safe and efficient transportation system is fundamental to our state’s economy and success,” Jundt explained in a statement.
“Although there is not a law requiring allocation of state highway funds to local governmental entities, the Commission has consistently recognized the interconnection of transportation systems, regardless of ownership, and the need for local control of investments. These state funds provide funding flexibility and help our local partners to maintain and enhance their local transportation systems, especially with the harshness of this past winter.”
In 2022, the commission authorized the issuance of $144.4 million in state transportation funding to local governments in the form of grants, direct state funding, and federal aid.
State departments of transportation across the country provide a key source of funding to cities, towns, municipalities, and other local governments within their borders in support of a wide range of mobility infrastructure projects.
For example, in April, the New Jersey Department of Transportation began accepting applications for $165 million worth of fiscal year 2024 grant funding to support local transportation projects – funds made available through its four major “State Aid” programs.
The agency said grant applications for that funding – awarded through its Municipal Aid, Transit Village, Bikeway, and Safe Streets to Transit programs – are due by July 1, with award notifications issued in November.
“[We are] committed to improving local roads and bridges by providing financial assistance, technical expertise and training for municipal and county transportation initiatives,” explained New Jersey DOT Commissioner Diane Gutierrez-Scaccetti. “Municipal Aid grants, along with funds provided through our Transit Village, Bikeway, and Safe Streets to Transit programs, allow our cities and towns to make needed safety and quality-of-life improvements to ensure New Jersey has a modern, efficient, and equitable transportation system without the need to impact local property taxes,” she added.
Also in April, Governor Dan McKee (D) and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation unveiled a “RI Ready Municipal Road Fund Program” proposal as part of the state’s fiscal year 2024 budget. That proposed grant program would make $20 million available to fund road, bridge, and sidewalk projects on locally maintained city and town roads. Out of that $20 million total, some $15 million would be divided equally among each city and town in Rhode Island, or about $380,000 each, should the program win approval from the state legislature.
The remaining $5 million will be distributed proportionally to municipalities based on the miles of roads in each community, with cities and towns with more roads under their jurisdiction able to seek more funding.