House bill would ensure medium-sized cities receive transportation funding

The BUILD UP Act would require at least 30% of BUILD grant funding be awarded to mid-sized cities

February 14, 2020
small to mid-sized cities transportation infrastructure

Five Congressional representatives from Washington State recently introduced legislation that would ensure medium-sized cities receive critical federal funding for surface transportation and infrastructure projects.

The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development for Underfunded Projects (BUILD UP) Act was introduced by Reps. Rick Larsen, Suzan K. DelBene, Derek Kilmer, Pramila Jayapal, and Kim Schrier, all from the Evergreen State. The bill would require at least 30% of funding from the U.S. DOT’s BUILD grant program be awarded to cities with 10,000 to 75,000 residents.

Previously known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants, U.S. DOT’s BUILD grant program awards federal funding to local surface transportation projects across the country. However, according to Rep. Larsen's office, most BUILD grant funding benefits large metropolitan areas and the program’s structure can force medium-sized cities to delay or indefinitely postpone vital transportation projects.

This new legislation would support innovative, surface infrastructure projects in medium-sized cities that lack the funding major urban areas typically receive. Larsen first introduced this bill in 2013 as the TIGER CUBS Act.

“You cannot have a big-league economy with little league infrastructure," Rep. Larsen, who is a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said in a statement. "In Washington State and across the country, transportation means jobs, and the BUILD UP program will help build bigger paychecks by helping medium-sized cities build better infrastructure.”

“As House Democrats develop a broad plan to rebuild our nation’s roads, bridges, transit systems and other critical infrastructure, it’s critical that suburban cities and small towns don’t get left behind,” Rep. Jayapal said in a statement

Rep. Larsen noted that the BUILD grant program has boosted key infrastructure projects in Washington State’s 2nd District. 

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SOURCE: Office of Rep. Rick Larsen

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