The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced last week that it has approved a grant of $2,458,610 for the Bay County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) to fund the upgrade of 14 traffic signals throughout the county.
Funding from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) was approved in response to a proposal by the Bay County BOCC following Hurricane Michael in 2018. The grant will help pay for the replacement of 14 span wire traffic signals with new mast arm signals that are intended to improve safety, functionality and performance.
Mast arm-mounted signals are designed to withstand winds of 144 mph, are effective at intersections closer to the coastline and allow for the use of illuminated street signs that display the cross street name.
Seven new traffic signals will be located along intersections on 11th Street, two each along Thomas Drive and CR 389 and one at the intersection of Joan and North Lagoon streets. New mast arm signals will also be located near the Youngstown and Bayou George Fire Departments.
The HMGP provides funding to help communities eliminate or reduce disaster-related damage. Following a major disaster, a percentage of a state’s total federal recovery grants is calculated to help develop more resilient communities. Florida has an Enhanced Hazard Mitigation Plan that allows more funding to be available for post-disaster resilience projects. States with the enhanced plan receive HMGP funds based on 20% of their total estimated eligible federal disaster assistance.
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