The U.S. DOT last week announced the investment of $906 million in America’s infrastructure through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program.
The proposed funding will be awarded to 20 projects in 20 states. In addition to providing direct federal funding, the INFRA discretionary grant program aims to increase the total investment by state, local, and private partners.
U.S. DOT says INFRA advances a grant program established in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. Project applications were evaluated by a team of more than two dozen career staff in the department and selected based on established criteria to align them with national and regional economic vitality goals. The program increases the impact of projects by leveraging federal grant funding and incentivizing project sponsors to pursue innovative strategies, including public-private partnerships.
Additionally, the program promotes the incorporation of innovative technology designed to improve transportation systems. U.S. DOT says it will also hold INFRA grant recipients accountable for their performance in project delivery and operations.
Consistent with ongoing efforts to rebalance historic underinvestment in rural America, 53% of proposed funding will be awarded to rural projects. Six awards totaling $293 million are being made to projects that are at least partially located in an Opportunity Zone, while several other projects are located in areas near Opportunity Zones.
The department says demand for INFRA grants far exceeded available funds. U.S. DOT evaluated 173 eligible applications from 47 states, as well as U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, who collectively requested approximately $7.4 billion in grant funds—more than eight times the funding available.
The full list of proposed awards can be found on U.S. DOT's website.
SOURCE: U.S. DOT