On Wednesday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced tens of millions of dollars worth of grant awards to be used to increase access to truck parking and to improve safety conditions for truck drivers.
The FMCSA says that more than $80 million in High Priority grants will be used to increase funding to truck parking projects and to “enhance critical efforts to support truck drivers and improve safety.”
The grants were announced during an event in Salem, South Dakota, which is the future site of a truck parking facility.
The grants allow for a 65% increase in funding for various truck parking projects. Other plans for the grant funding include:
- Expanding access to truck parking by helping truck drivers locate available rest area truck parking spaces in real time via dynamic message signs along highways in Kentucky, Delaware, and Indiana.
- Researching to support automated, location-based driver alerts via electronic logging devices that inform drivers of upcoming work zones — improving safety for both the drivers and the workers.
- Enhancement of electronic screening technologies to detect vehicle violations (such as automated license plate readers, USDOT number readers, tire monitoring system, and hazardous materials placard readers).
- Outreach and education to combat human trafficking, an effort in which truck drivers can play a key role given their time and attention on the road.
The FMCSA says that the grant funding will build on the investment in the previously announced truck parking projects below:
- Caldwell County, Texas: $22.9 million RAISE grant to design and construct a truck parking plaza that improves safety and convenience for truck drivers. Plaza will include short- and long-term spaces with lighting, fencing, restroom and shower facilities, with 24-hour monitored security.
- Caldwell Parish, Louisiana: $10.5 million RAISE grant to buy land and build a Truck Parking facility near the port and a highway for 50 commercial trucks, 100 cars, and EV charging stations that are designed to provide auxiliary power units to power a truck cab’s heating and cooling, without having to run the engine while also recharging trucks. There will also be a system to find parking spaces in real-time.
- On I-4 Between Tampa and Orlando: $15 million INFRA grant for a new truck parking facility with approximately 120 spaces, electric charging stations, and pedestrian infrastructure to access nearby commercial amenities.
- Near Memphis, Tennessee: $22 million INFRA grant adds 125 truck parking spaces at a spot along I-40—a critical freight corridor. Project will also upgrade adjacent bridge structures.
“We depend on truck drivers every day, and we have a national responsibility to support their safety and job quality,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today, we are proud to deliver new funding that will improve safety on our nation’s roads.”