DOT Unveils New P3 Funding Opportunity

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2024


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau recently released a Notice of Funding Opportunity through the bipartisan infrastructure law for a new program meant to develop projects with public-private partnerships.

According to the bureau, the Innovative Finance and Asset Concession Grant Program would make $100 million available over five years to aid public entities in building public-private partnerships and exploring financing and delivery opportunities.

About the Funding

The bureau adds that this opportunity is meant specifically for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) eligible projects. The NOFO reportedly allocates funds for fiscal years 2022, 2023 and 2024, totaling $57.72 million. Grants up to $2 million are available, with the first million not requiring any local match.

The bureau states that applications are due May 9.

“This program is a great example of how we are empowering state and local governments to deliver transformational transportation projects,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Polly Trottenberg.

“The grants will allow local and state leaders the opportunity to explore innovative financing solutions by accessing external expertise and building internal support.”

According to the DOT's release, two types of grants are available under the new program:

  • Technical Assistance Grants, which will reportedly build organizational capacity and advance a portfolio of assets through conducting pre-construction tasks, like asset scans, value-for-money analyses and other tasks that consider innovative finance and delivery, including asset concessions; and
  • Expert Services Grants, which will reportedly help enable recipients to hire expert professionals to develop and deliver public-private partnerships in connection with the development of a specific asset.

The release adds that applicants must choose one of the grant types to apply for in this round of funding. Eligible applicants reportedly include states, tribal governments, local governments, special purpose public authorities, or agencies chartered by a state, tribal, or local government. 

“Providing 100 percent funding with no match for the first $1 million will enable lower-resourced agencies to apply for these funds without impacting their budget or daily services to the public,” said Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian.

“This funding will enable communities to develop and evaluate innovative solutions and delivery models to more efficiently and cost-effectively construct complicated projects.”

The bureau is managing the program and will host two free informational webinars on each of the types of grants:

The release explains that participation in the webinar is not mandatory to receive funding, though the bureau urges potential applicants to learn about the application process and what activities can be funded through this new program.

The bureau added that it plans to post a recording of the webinars and copies of the presentations on the Innovative Finance and Asset Concession Grant Program website.

The program reportedly joins the Rural and Tribal Assistance Pilot Program, Thriving Communities Program and other new technical assistance opportunities at the DOT to ensure communities have the needed tools to access federal funding and financing for transformative infrastructure projects.

Accelerating Infrastructure Plans

In May of last year, the DOT announced that it would add $24 million in grants to expedite delivery of transportation infrastructure projects at the local and regional levels.

Issued through the Build America Bureau, the new funding was going to make the total investment in the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program to $34 million.

According to the release, the Bureau issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity for grant applications to designate “Accelerators” that would serve defined geographic areas, provide technical resources, and fund planning and development activities to expedite project delivery.

According to the department’s release, $10 million had previously been awarded to Accelerators nationwide, serving in a project development role that can focus resources, funding and expertise to expedite planning, development and delivery at the local and regional level.

Additionally, the Accelerators assisted in project planning, evaluating innovative financing, accessing technical assistance and best practices and developing a pipeline of projects ready for investment. The Bureau administers multiple technical assistance programs, including the Accelerators Program, that aim to build capacity at local and regional levels to explore innovative funding, financing and delivery solutions.

Additionally, in October 2022, the Biden-Harris Administration announced a new action plan to accelerate progress of infrastructure construction through the bipartisan infrastructure law. The White House hosted a summit for officials to discuss the new actions with an aim to improve coordination between state and local officials who directly account for 90% of the spending.

The action plan focused on three main areas: delivering projects on time, staying on task and delivering projects on budget. Staying on task also included equitable access and technical assistance, as well as workforce readiness and permitting.

The plan also built on previous actions to speed up infrastructure project delivery, such as the Permitting Action Plan released in May 2022 and the Inflation Reduction Act signed back in August 2023.

   

Tagged categories: Construction; Department of Transportation (DOT); DOT; Finance; Funding; Government; Grants; Infrastructure; Infrastructure; NA; North America; Partnerships; President Biden; Program/Project Management; Public-private partnerships (P3); Transportation

Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.