BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — Officials with the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the approval of a grant that will help plan improvements in pedestrian, bicycle, and motorized safety in the Fayette and Raleigh County region.

The Safe Streets and Roads for All proposal was submitted September 20, 2022, by the Fayette Raleigh Metropolitan Planning Organization. The grant was approved at $199,200 by the U.S. DOT and through the assistance of New River Gorge Regional Development Authority, another $49,800 was matched locally, bringing the total award amount to $249,000.

“We want to thank Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito for their active support, and we will continue working together in creating the action plan and throughout its implementation. Our team effort – local, state and federal leaders all chipping in collaboratively — made the difference. We’re continuously thankful for our Regional Planning and Development Council partners that help us secure funding and implement plans and projects that are paramount to the future growth of the region.”

Jina Belcher, Executive Director of the NRGRDA

The grant will allow the Fayette-Raleigh Metropolitan Planning Organization, NRGRDA, and local community stakeholders to complete a regional safety action plan within 12 months. Andrew Davis, NRGRDA Director of Strategic Redevelopment reports the roadway fatality rate in the Fayette-Raleigh region is 15.32 per 100,000 people, higher than the national rate at 11.7, and hopes the grant will bring the necessary transportation safety improvements that are needed.