TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A $1 billion federal fund from the United States Department of Transportation will give $18 million to Tampa for infrastructure improvements along U.S. 41.

The funding comes from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program from USDOT. Of the $1 billion allocated for the program in April 2021, $28.5 million will go to Florida. The Tampa Heights Mobility Corridor Project is set to receive the bulk of those dollars.

The Florida Department of Transportation will receive the $18 million to fund the creation of an exclusive transit lane, widen sidewalks, install new crosswalks, improve intersections, and improve the storm sewer system on two miles of the Heights Mobility Corridor along U.S. 41 Business/State Road 685, from Tyler Street to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, according to USDOT.

“This is huge news for Tampa and our ability to better connect historic neighborhoods just north of downtown and to improve safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. We’re so grateful to Rep. Kathy Castor for championing the federal funding, which will tangibly improve residents’ quality of life,” said Mayor Jane Castor.

Describing the program, USDOT said the improvements to the corridor will improve roadway resiliency by fixing “substandard roadway pavement conditions and systemic flooding issues” along the project’s roadway. The transit lane that will be constructed is expected to give transit riders more efficient access through the community and “improve the quality of life particularly for underserved residents who rely on transit as a critical mode of transportation.”

“This $18 million grant is important for the growing, dynamic neighborhoods of Tampa Heights and Seminole Heights. We are connecting Tampa neighborhoods, decreasing vehicle traffic and improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists. I championed this grant, with Mayor Castor, to lift our neighborhoods, increase equity, create jobs, build mobility, and provide needed revitalization to our streets. We are united in our commitment to Build Back Better for our neighbors, for our environment, and for future generations,” said Rep. Kathy Castor.

Half of the RAISE Transportation grants will fund rural developments, while the other 50 percent will go toward urban areas that “deliver positive benefits” to those communities. For the first round of funding, USDOT said individual grants were capped at $25 million, and each state could only get as much as $100 million, due to the language of the appropriations act that funded the program.

Other projects funded in Florida by the fiscal year 2021 RAISE grants are:

  • $606,000 for Orlando CROSS: Connecting Residents on Safe Streets
  • $1.7 million for Jacksonville Transportation Authority’s Ultimate Urban Circulator: Neighborhood Extension and Planning Project
  • $8.2 million for the City of Palatka’s A. Philip Randolph Regional Multimodal Transportation Hub and Complete Streets Connectivity project

The full list of awards for FY2021 can be found here and here.