The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) has selected over a dozen transportation projects to receive funding from a newly created competitive grant program, quickly drawing the praise of lawmakers who represent districts or states that will benefit from the fresh injection of infrastructure cash.
U.S. DOT notified the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Senate Environment and Public Works committees this week that the agency intends to award a total of $759 million in federal FASTLANE grants to 18 projects around the country.
Over 200 applicants were vying to receive a slice of the $800 million in funding authorized under the program, which Congress established in last year’s surface highway transportation bill to support nationally significant highway, bridge and freight projects.
Washington-area lawmakers announced that $90 million had been tentatively awarded to improve the decaying Arlington Memorial Bridge. The bridge—which spans the Potomac River from D.C. to Arlington, Va., and is considered one of the most vulnerable structures in the federal system—needs a total of $250 million in repairs or else officials estimate that it will be forced to close in the next five years.
A total of five port projects are slated to receive FASTLANE grants, including $44 million for the Georgia Ports Authority, $42 million for the Massachusetts Port Authority and $10.67 million for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Another prospective grantee is in Louisiana, where officials hope to use $60 million in federal funding to eliminate the only place in the nation where the interstate drops down to one lane.