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City of Talladega Blog

City of Talladega Blog


City of Talladega awarded $1,123,432 SMART grant

City of Talladega awarded $1,123,432 SMART grant

(Talladega, AL) City of Talladega leaders are pleased to announce that the city will partner with the U.S. Department of Transportation on the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. Talladega was recently awarded a $1,123,432 SMART grant to deploy smart traffic signals and sensors to create a safer, more walkable city.

“I was honored to receive a congratulatory call from U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who expressed his excitement about the impact the grant will have in our city,” said Mayor Ashton Hall. “Talladega is a hub for regional tourism. Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind (AIDB), Talladega College, CMP Marksmanship Park, TOP Trails OHV Park, the Dr. William R. Harvey Museum of Art, Talladega Superspeedway, the Historic Ritz Theatre, Hall of Heroes Museum, and Heritage Hall Museum are but a few of the attractions that draw thousands to our city. Installing smart buttons will make Talladega safer for residents and visitors alike.”

“As home to AIDB, the city is committed to making Talladega more walkable for all,” added Executive Assistant Ciara Smith.  “Smart buttons will allow the blind and visually impaired community to move freely and safely throughout the city by providing multiple forms of touchless detection and producing auditory signals to ensure that visually impaired individuals can cross streets safely. This technology will also enhance walkability for Talladega College students and others pedestrians.”

In addition to enhancing the city’s walkability, the award will safely and equitably connect all who live and work in Talladega to the downtown area, as well as to quality job opportunities, education, health care, and other services throughout the city. 

“It is a great honor to receive an award of this magnitude, and we are thankful to the U.S. Department of Transportation for recognizing the value of our project,” said Interim City Manager Danny Warwick.  “The City looks forward to working with residents, neighborhoods, community organizations, and businesses to pilot and evaluate the deployment of smart traffic signals and sensors near the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind and throughout the city to detect and protect pedestrians.” 

"Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind is committed to the independence and success of our staff, as well as the students and clients we serve. Through this grant, the City of Talladega is able to work with AIDB to provide safe and accessible sidewalks and walkways to assist the many AIDB stakeholders with mobility or ambulatory difficulties," said Dennis Gilliam, Ed.D., President, Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) authorized and appropriated $100 million annually for the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grants Program. SMART funds State, local, and Tribal governments to conduct demonstration projects focused on advanced smart city or community technologies and systems to improve transportation efficiency and safety. The program is structured in two stages, in which applicants initially seek Stage 1 Planning and Prototyping Grants. Selected projects are then eligible to apply for Stage 2 Implementation Grants. Stage 1 Grants are capped at $2M and an 18-month period; Stage 2 Grants are anticipated to be up to $15M and 36 months. 

To accomplish the objectives identified in BIL, the SMART Grants Program will fund projects that focus on using technology interventions to solve real-world challenges facing communities today. The program funds purpose-driven innovation and discourages investment in technologies that do not provide a clear improvement over the status quo. SMART also focuses on building data and technology capacity and experience for State, local, and Tribal governments. Please visit for additional information.

Pictured left to right: Interim City Manager Danny Warwick, Executive Assistant Ciara Smith and Mayor Ashton Hall