US$905 million for US highway and rail projects

By Jenny Lescohier09 July 2021

A total of 24 projects in 18 states are proposed to receive US$905 million in federal funding as part of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program.

US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the Biden-Harris Administration intends to award grants to projects that  advance its priorities of rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure and creating jobs.

The goal is to fund “highway and rail projects of regional and national economic significance that position America to win the 21st century,” a release stated.

“These timely investments in our infrastructure will create jobs and support regional economies, while helping to spur innovation, confront climate change, and address inequities across the country,” said Buttigieg.

INFRA grants were selected based on several criteria. In addition to prioritizing projects that would improve local economies, create jobs, and meet all statutory requirements, for the first time in USDOT’s history, grants were considered by how they would address climate change, environmental justice, and racial equity.

Further, USDOT prioritised funding to rural areas to address historic underinvestment. Approximately 44% of proposed funding will be awarded to rural projects, which exceeds the statutory requirements for rural projects set by Congress by 19%.

INFRA projects were also rated on the extent that they applied innovative technology and whether they could deliver projects in a cost-effective manner.

Demand for INFRA grants far exceeded available funds. USDOT evaluated 157 eligible applications from 42 states, as well as Guam. Applicants collectively requested approximately US$6.8 billion in grant funds - more than seven times the funding available.

For a full list of proposed awards, click here

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