US DOT to hand out $1 billion in infrastructure grants
US DOT will hand out $1 billion in grant funding to projects across the US, with equal shares going to rural and urban areas.
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1 billion in grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants. According to the DOT, RAISE, formerly known as BUILD and TIGER, has awarded over $8.935 billion in grants to projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since 2009.
“In communities across the country, there is tremendous need for transportation projects that create high-quality jobs, improve safety, protect our environment, and generate equitable economic opportunity for all Americans,” said US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “With RAISE grants, we are making those needed investments in our communities’ future.”
The US DOT says projects for RAISE funding will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the DOT says it will prioritise projects that can “demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change and create good-paying jobs.”
For this round of RAISE grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $100 million can be awarded to a single State. Up to $30 million will be awarded to planning grants, including at least $10 million to Areas of Persistent Poverty.
To ensure that the benefits of infrastructure investments benefit communities large and small the DOT will award an equitable amount, not to exceed half of funding, to projects located in urban and rural areas respectively.
The program is highly competitive with 680 projects funded out of more than 9700 applications. The Department says it is one of the few DOT discretionary programs for which regional and local governments can directly compete for multimodal transportation funding.