U.S. Senator introduces Rural Infrastructure Advancement Act

The legislation would establish a Rural Assistance Pilot Program to help rural communities

June 01, 2020 / 1 minute read
rural road infrastructure

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Mississippi)—chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation—recently introduced S.3842, the Rural Infrastructure Advancement Act.

The legislation would establish a Rural Assistance Pilot Program to help rural communities and localities better utilize and leverage existing U.S. DOT funding and financing opportunities.

“Rural states, like my home state of Mississippi, often face challenges when trying to find the financial resources necessary to fund critical infrastructure projects, such as improving our roads and bridges,” Senator Wicker said in a statement. “This bill would provide professional technical assistance to rural communities interested in utilizing existing financing programs. It is important that we provide these resources to support and advance rural infrastructure.”

The Rural Infrastructure Advancement Act would:

  • Establish a Rural Assistance Pilot Program within the bureau that retains expert firms—approved by U.S. DOT—to provide financial, technical, and legal assistance to potential rural project sponsors seeking to apply for a loan or grant.
  • Authorize funding for U.S. DOT to carry out the pilot program.
  • Direct U.S. DOT to develop an online portal for receipt of pilot program applications and provide written notice of its determination regarding each application.
  • Direct U.S. DOT to post information about the pilot program online, including the resources available, application process, and status of submitted applications.

Back in October, U.S. DOT announced the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Initiative designed to support transportation needs in rural areas around the country. A month earlier, Senators Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Mike Braun (R-Indiana)—both members of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry—introduced the Rural Economic Infrastructure Equity Act of 2019, a bill to improve federal support for the transportation infrastructure needs of rural areas in the U.S. 

-------

SOURCE: Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation

Related Articles

Kansas DOT Cost Share Program recipients announced
Image: Office of Gov. Laura Kelly
Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and Transportation Secretary Julie Lorenz announced this week the statewide recipients of the Kansas DOT’s Cost Share Program…
July 10, 2020
The U.S. DOT announced this month that 20 U.S. small businesses will receive a total of $3 million in Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)…
July 08, 2020
Recently, the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee held a hearing titled “Better, Faster, Cheaper, Smarter, and Stronger:…
July 07, 2020
As we discussed in Part 4 of our series, COVID-19 has drastically reduced revenues that states depend on for funding infrastructure improvements.…
July 07, 2020
expand_less