DOT Awards 166 Infrastructure Project Grants
Last week, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that more $2.2 billion has been awarded from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program for transportation projects.
The program aims to help urban and rural communities move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports and intermodal transportation, as well as make transportation systems safer, more accessible, more affordable and more sustainable.
“We are proud to support so many outstanding infrastructure projects in communities large and small, modernizing America’s transportation systems to make them safer, more affordable, more accessible, and more sustainable,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.
“Using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year we are supporting more projects than ever before.”
According to the release, projects were evaluated on several criteria, including safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, partnership and collaboration, innovation, state of good repair, and mobility and community connectivity.
Then, the Department considered how projects will improve accessibility for all travelers, bolster supply chain efficiency, and support racial equity and economic growth, especially in historically disadvantaged communities and areas of persistent poverty.
Because of the bipartisan infrastructure law, which provides an additional $7.5 billion over five years for the program, this year’s allocations include more than $2.2 billion. Half of this funding is reportedly designated for projects in rural areas, while the remaining 50% is designated for projects in urban areas.
The DOT reports that nearly two-thirds of projects are located in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities. The largest grant awarded is $25 million, but, per statute, no more than $341.25 million can be awarded to a single state in this round of funding.
Additionally, 11 of this year’s selected projects include a local hire provision. Several projects reportedly include workforce development aspects with four projects having project labor agreements, eight projects have registered apprenticeship programs and an additional eight projects with other workforce development provisions.
In total, 166 infrastructure projects across the country were awarded funding from the grant program, including:
On Aug. 11, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg visited two projects receiving RAISE funding in Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Buttigieg and other senior USDOT officials plan to visit additional funding sites later this month.
“Learning about these projects and providing the funding to help make more of them a reality is one of the best parts of serving in this role,” Buttigieg said ahead of the announcement.
Later this year, the Biden-Harris Administration plans to announced recipients of the first-ever National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program, as well as the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (RURAL).
The full list of awarded RAISE projects can be found here.
2021 RAISE Awards
In November of last year, the DOT announced nearly $1 billion in infrastructure grants through the discretionary grants program. Funding was awarded to 90 projects in 47 states and the District of Columbia and Guam. The maximum grant award was $25 million, with no more than $100 million being awarded to a single state.
USDOT announced examples of projects representative of the overall grants awarded:
RAISE Transportation Grants for the 2021 Fiscal Year were awarded on a competitive basis to road, bridge, transit, rail, port or intermodal transportation projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. USDOT awarded 50% of funding to projects in rural areas and 50% to urban areas, per statute.
The RAISE Discretionary Grant program was previously known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) and Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grants.
Congress has reportedly invested nearly $9.9 billion for thirteen rounds of National Infrastructure Investments to fund projects that have a significant local or regional impact. According to USDOT, the department has received more than 10,400 applications requesting more than $185 billion for transportation projects since 2009.
Selection criteria for this year included safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation and partnerships with a range of stakeholders.