The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), recently announced a new grant program, “Infrastructure For Rebuilding America (INFRA),” which will award competitive grant funding for eligible infrastructure projects under new criteria.
The INFRA grant program will make available a total of $1.5 billion for these projects, distributed in two different size awards: at least $25 million for large scale projects and at least $5 million for small scale projects. This grant program is a continuation of FASTLANE, a pre-existing grant program established in FAST Act, and provides updated criteria for project evaluation in order to ensure projects “are aligned with national and regional economic vitality goals,” according to DOT.
According to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), eligible infrastructure projects that may receive funding 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.” According to DOT, priority will be given to projects with a local sponsor that is financially invested and ready to start construction immediately. The grant specifically allows applicants to resubmit their prior FASTLANE applications if they believe their projects align with the new INFRA criteria.
The INFRA program preserves the statutory requirement to award at least 25 percent of funding for rural projects. It also calls on DOT to consider an equitable balance in funding for geographic diversity among recipients. This means accounting for the impact of transportation funding for the economic revitalization of rural and disadvantaged communities. DOT states it “will give full consideration to the unique needs of rural areas.”
Applications for the INFRA grant program are available online until November 2, 2017. Click here to apply.
Click here for more information on the INFRA grant program.