WILLMAR — The U.S. Department of Transportation on Feb. 1 announced the city of Willmar was awarded a $200,000 grant through Safe Streets and Roads for All , which will allow the city to complete a citywide Safety Action Plan to address safety, accessibility and equity concerns throughout the city’s transportation system.
Willmar received one of 12 grants awarded to communities in Minnesota, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation. There were 510 grant awards nationwide totaling $800 million.
The competitive grant program, established by President Biden’s infrastructure law, provides $5 billion over five years for regional, local and tribal initiatives — from redesigned roads to better sidewalks and crosswalks — to prevent deaths and serious injuries on the nation’s roadways, according to the news release.
In Willmar’s grant application, which was retroactively approved by the Willmar City Council and submitted in September, it was noted that there were 39 fatal and serious injury crashes and 73 pedestrian- and bicycle-involved crashes within the city during the last 10 years. There was one fatal crash between 2016 and 2020, resulting in a fatality rate of 1.01 per 100,000 residents.
Of those crashes, 69% occurred on local roadways, demonstrating high demand for non-motorized access on local roads and the importance of a city-led planning process, according to the grant application.
The Willmar Safety Action Plan developed with the grant will use data and best practices to improve traffic safety and save lives.
Read the full story by the West Central Tribune.