The Friends of A1A Scenic and Historic Coastal Byway ("Friends of A1A") was recently awarded $853,932 by the Federal Highway Administration. The local award represents 16% of the total funds awarded and 36% of the total projects sumbmitted by Florida applicants.
Out of 20 projects submitted for Florida, 11 were awarded funding and we were pleased that all 4 of our projects were selected. Federal Highways released appropriations to the states and contract preparation has begun for the projects that will begin in July 2009. For the second year in a row Florida was the top recipient of applicants in the nation - a record broken twice! The state received 70% ($3.87 million) of funds requested ($5.53 million). A list of all projects can be viewed at http://www.bywaysonline.org.
Sallie O'Hara, Byway Program Administrator, is delighted that the young nonprofit is gaining such credibility and support from governmental partners and community supporters. This is a 9.5% increase over the 2007 grants. The A1A Byway has received over $3.9 million dollars in funding since 2000. Most of those funds have gone into facility improvements at parks.
National Scenic Byway Program grants require 20% local match from various partners.
This year's Federal funds awarded to A1A projects include:
- $373,520 to construct a gateway boardwalk promenade with ADA facility enhancements for Byway travelers at the A1A roadway in Flagler Beach.
- $50,000 to design and implement of an interpretive Cell Phone Tour accessible at all points along the 72 mile A1A Byway.
- $120,000 for consulting services to develop a comprehensive master plan for a Wayfinding /Wayshowing Signage system for the 72 mile corridor inclusive of FDOT compliance requirements and maintenance agreements from byway partners.
- $80,000 for Byway positions necessary to sustain the Corridor Management Plan to implement projects and improvements.
Barbara Jenness, President of Friends of A1A, stated the awards were most impressive given the level of this year's competition. "We have been working hard for years to improve A1A and now we are really beginning to see some physical results!" The group hopes these projects will prominently place the A1A Scenic & Historic Coastal Byway on the area maps as a destination unto itself. Travelers may already be noticing many parks under construction and roadways being improved.
Friends of A1A is a nonprofit organization that protects, preserves, and enhances resources along the A1A National Scenic Byway. Designated in 2002, the Scenic A1A Byway is one of 125 roadways in the America's Byways collection and stretches 72 miles along the Northeast Florida Atlantic Coast, traversing St. Johns and Flagler Counties. Visit our website: http://ScenicA1A.org to learn more about this beautiful road.
Barbara Jenness takes joy in assisting people in buying or selling their home or land in northeast Florida (St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and Jacksonville). She is a community activist and leader serving as President of Friends of A1A 2008-2010, Past President of Scenic & Historic A1A in St. Johns County for over 10 years, and past vice-president of Vilano Beach Main Street (North Shores Improvement Association). She is a past president for WCR in St. Augustine and a member of South Ponte Vedra Civic Association, Porpoise Point, Serenata Beach Club, and Palencia. She founded and is a Past President of the St. Augustine Regional Council (StAR Council) to promote the St. Augustine area to individuals outside the region.
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