The U.S. DOT announced the latest round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program, which is making available more than $900 million for American infrastructure investments.
“The Department will invest more than $900 million in major projects that will improve transportation infrastructure, economic productivity, and quality of life across our nation,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.
INFRA advances a grant program established in the FAST Act of 2015 to help rebuild America’s aging infrastructure. INFRA utilizes selection criteria that promote projects with national and regional economic vitality goals while leveraging non-federal funding to increase the total investment by state, local, and private partners. The program also incentivizes project sponsors to pursue innovative strategies, including public-private partnerships.
The U.S. DOT will make awards under the INFRA program to large and small projects. For a large project, the INFRA grant must be at least $25 million. For a small project, the grant must be at least $5 million. For each fiscal year of INFRA funds, 10% of available funds are reserved for small projects.
The department will award at least 25% of INFRA grant funding to rural projects. Addressing the deteriorating conditions and elevated fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is a key objective of the department. For rural communities in need of funding for highway and multimodal freight projects with national or regional economic significance, INFRA is an opportunity to apply directly for financial assistance from the federal government.
INFRA grants may be used to fund a variety of components of an infrastructure project. However, U.S. DOT says it is specifically focused on projects in which the local sponsor is significantly invested and is positioned to proceed rapidly to construction. Eligible INFRA project costs may include: reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, equipment acquisition, and operational improvements directly related to system performance.
SOURCE: U.S. DOT