More than $1.5 million in federal money will be provided to eight Kentucky communities to help them complete projects aimed at encouraging and enabling students to walk or bicycle to school safely, Gov. Steve Beshear announced yesterday.

The program, Safe Routes to School (SRTS), is federally funded but administered by the Office of Local Programs in the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.

“Once completed, these projects will provide an opportunity for more of our children to safely practice a healthy lifestyle by walking and riding their bikes to school,” Beshear said.

Cities, counties and school boards can apply for funding through the SRTS program for a broad range of projects and activities in close proximity to elementary and middle schools. Eligible projects and activities include new or improved sidewalks, crosswalks and bike lanes; public awareness campaigns; and traffic enforcement near schools. As much as $250,000 can be awarded to a project.

 The eight award recipients and their awards and projects include:

 City of Ashland – $231,990 for a new sidewalk along Blackburn Avenue 

City of Berea – $146,500 for construction of bicycle paths to encircle Berea Community School

City of Dayton – $161,200 for new sidewalk along Dayton Pike

City of Henderson – $212,972 for a new pedestrian and bicycle path along Sand Lane

City of Liberty – $148,865 for new sidewalk along Montgomery Street

City of New Castle – $250,000 for new sidewalk along South Property Street

City of Stanton – $250,000 for new sidewalk along Railroad Street

City of Waynesburg – $130,000 for new sidewalk along KY 328