DOT Taking Bids for INFRA Grants

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting applications for its second round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America discretionary grant program.

DOT expects to award $855 million to $902.5 million in grant money. In a news release it said the level of funding for fiscal year 2019 hinges on its appropriation from Congress.

That funding is on hold due to a partial federal government shutdown.

Nonetheless, DOT issued the grant program notice before the shutdown began.

INFRA advances a grant program established under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act of 2015.

Under the program’s criteria, DOT “evaluates projects to align them with national and regional economic vitality goals and to leverage additional non-federal funding.”

In a statement, DOT said the program will increase the impact of projects by leveraging federal grant funding and incentivizing project sponsors to pursue innovative strategies, including public-private partnership.

In addition, the program promotes projects that incorporate the use of innovative technology to improve the nation’s transportation system.

DOT will award INFRA grants 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.

Ten percent of available funds are reserved for small projects. The FAST Act requires the program to award at least 25 percent of funding for rural projects.

In 2018, the USDOT awarded INFRA grants totaling nearly $1.5 billion for 26 projects, including some involving rail.

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