Posts Tagged ‘Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development’

Just 2 BUILD Grants Will Benefit Amtrak

November 17, 2019

Only two of the rail projects that recently received federal BUILD grants that were awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation will directly benefit Amtrak service.

Both involve Amtrak stations in Illinois.

A $14 million grant was awarded for building an underpass at the station in Normal, Illinois, that also serves nearby Bloomington.

The federal funds will pay for design and construction of a pedestrian, bicyclist, and passenger underpass and a second boarding platform at the station.

Normal is served by Chicago-St. Louis Lincoln Service trains as well as the Chicago-San Antonio Texas Eagle.

The other grant was $14 million for design and construction of a new multi-modal transportation center in downtown Carbondale.

That station will replace a modular facility Amtrak opened in the 1980s.

Carbondale is the southern terminus of Amtrak’s Illini and Saluki as well as an intermediate stop for the City of New Orleans, which operates between Chicago and New Orleans.

USDOT handed out $900 million in BUILD grants for 55 transportation-related infrastructure projects in 35 states,

Half of the funding went to projects in rural areas of the country and the lion’s share ($603 million) went to highway projects.

Rail projects received $48.3 million or 5 percent of the total. Transit projects received $84.6 million or 10 percent of the total.

Florida received the largest amount of grant funding followed by North Carolina, Maine, Colorado, Texas, Arizona, Alabama, Missouri, Mississippi and Louisiana.

California received two grants while Michigan, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut received no grant funding.

BUILD Grant to be Used for New Carbondale Station

November 8, 2019

Federal grant funds will be used to create a new transportation center in Carbondale, Illinois, that will be used by Amtrak.

The $14 million grant will be used to pay for the design and construction of the new facility, as well as demolition of the existing Amtrak station.

The new facility, once opened, will also serve intercity bus routes.

The funding is being awarded from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investment to Leverage Development program.

Carbondale is the southern origination and termination point for the state-funded Illini and Saluki, which operate on Canadian National tracks to and from Chicago.

The city, which is home to Southern Illinois University, is also a station stop and crew change point for the Chicago-New Orleans City of New Orleans

The current Carbondale station opened on Oct. 8, 1981, and was built as part of a grade crossing reduction project.

Amtrak Will Match Oregon Grant Bid Effort

August 2, 2019

Amtrak will match a federal grant bid being made by the Oregon Department of Transportation that will be used to improve tracks used by Cascades and Coast Starlight trains.

The passenger carrier will chip in $750,000 toward the project that seeks to reduce delays in the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor.

Oregon’s share would be $1.6 million of the $7.83 million project.
If the $5 million federal grant is awarded it will be used to rebuild the out of service Oregon City industrial track located between Portland and Salem, Oregon. It will create a 5,000-foot siding.

The first phase of the project would include laying new track and ties, and equipping both ends with power-operated switches and switch heaters.
The second phase will involve laying additional track on an adjacent three-mile section between Oregon City and an existing siding to the south.
This will result in five miles of new double-track section between Portland and Salem.

The track in question is located on a seven-mile stretch of Union Pacific’s Brooklyn Subdivision.

ODOT is seeking a U.S. Department of Transportation’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development grants to help fund the work.

Oregon Rail and Public Transit Division Rail Planner Bob Melbo said that under current operations if an Amtrak train is late it must wait at existing passing tracks at Clackamas to the north or Coalca to the south. If a UP freight is already occupying one of those sidings that could further exacerbate the delay.

Melbo says the industrial track was never used as a passing track when Southern Pacific installed centralized traffic control on the line in the 1950s, but converting it to a siding is more cost effective than building a siding elsewhere.

A decision on the grant application is expected later this year.

Vermont City Favor Seeking Rail Study Federal Grant

July 17, 2019

The city council in Barre, Vermont, narrowly voted last week to support a bid to win federal funds to study the possible restoration of intercity rail passenger service.

The service would operate between Barre and Montpelier, Vermont.

The vote was 4-2 with Mayor Lucas Herring casting the deciding vote.

The grant application will be submitted by the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, which hopes to land Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Vermont’s Agency of Transportation must submit a report by December detailing the estimated costs of upgrading the state-owned rail line and a timeline for potential construction.

Voting against the resolution was council member John Steinman, who said the the two cities are already connected by the “under capacity” Green Mountain Transit system.

Steinman said self-propelled buses would be a better transportation choice than rail.

DOT Accepting BUILD Grant Applications

April 23, 2019

Applications are being taken for a pot of $900 million to be awarded by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program.

The competitive grant program will fund projects that DOT said will have a significant local or regional impact.

The grants can be used to support road, bridge, transit, rail, port or intermodal projects.

DOT said that up to 50 percent of BUILD funding will allocated to rural area projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, deploy broadband as part of an eligible transportation project, or promote energy independence.

Applications will be reviewed for their contribution to safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, innovation and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders.

The deadline to submit a grant application is July 15. The maximum award will be $25 million with no more than $90 million being awarded to a single state.

USDOT Awards $1.5B in BUILD Grants

January 18, 2019

Approximately $1.5 billion in transportation grants were announced this week by the U.S. Department of Transportation through its Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development program.

The grant money will be used to support rail, transit, road and port infrastructure projects.

BUILD is the successor to the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant program introduced in 2009 by the Obama Administration.

In a news release DOT said the amount of funding sought by applicants far exceeded the grant money available by $10.9 billion.

The agency received 851 eligible applicants from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

It awarded 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia.

Sixty-six percent — or $977 million — went to projects that have a freight component. Non-highway freight projects received 20 percent of the total funds.