Senator Kevin Bacon (R –Village of Minerva Park) today announced that Columbus won a federal $40 million transportation grant to fund innovative infrastructure improvements in the greater metropolitan area.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) designated Columbus as one of seven finalists from a pool of seventy-seven cities competing to win the nation's first Smart City Challenge. In late May, both chambers of the Ohio legislature adopted a joint concurrent resolution urging USDOT to select Columbus.

“As a member of the Franklin County delegation, I am thrilled to congratulate the City of Columbus on being named our nation’s first Smart City,” said Bacon, who sponsored Senate Concurrent Resolution 21. "Many people worked tirelessly to make the case for investing in Columbus, and I'm confident that the city and its private sector partners will maximize the opportunities this funding provides."

“Columbus is rapidly emerging as a world-class city, and it needs a world-class transportation system," Bacon added. "Winning the Smart City Challenge is a major step forward toward implementing the advanced transportation technologies that will drive Franklin County into the future."

As the winner of the Smart City Challenge, Columbus will receive up to $40 million in funding from the USDOT to support the integration of innovative technologies like self-driving cars, connected vehicles and smart sensors into its transportation infrastructure. The USDOT electric vehicle vendor, Vulcan, will also contribute $10 million in an added private sector grant to support electric vehicle deployment. Columbus-area businesses and non-governmental institutions have pledged an additional $90 million, bringing the total funding available to $140 million.

Columbus defeated San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Denver, Austin, Texas, Portland, Oregon and Kansas City to win the Smart City Challenge in a round of final interviews conducted in Washington, D.C. on June 8th and 9th.

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