A funding opportunity of $300 million for the building and repairing of surface transportation at tribal and federal lands has been made available, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced Oct. 3. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with the first deadline set for Dec. 17.
The financial assistance is designed to assist with the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of projects that provide access to or within federal or tribal lands. To be eligible, applicants must identify single continuous projects. The federal share of the cost of the project shall be up to 90%. Projects estimated at $50 million or more will be prioritized in the selection process.
Funding will come through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects program, established under the 2015 FAST Act highway law.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, in a statement, said the program “will help underserved tribal areas fund large-scale infrastructure projects that will improve safety and mobility for their communities.”
Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Brandye Hendrickson added: “The funds will go a long way in making sure that needed improvements to infrastructure serving federal and tribal lands are addressed.”
THE WEEK AHEAD: (all times EDT)
Oct. 8, 4 p.m.: House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is scheduled to speak at the National Press Club.
Oct. 9, 1 p.m.: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hosts a teleconference of the Unified Carrier Registration Plan Procedures Subcommittee.
Oct. 10, 12 p.m.: The Cato Institute hosts a discussion on “Romance of the Rails: Why the Passenger Trains We Love are Not the Transportation We Need.”
Oct. 10, 7 p.m.: The National Archives hosts its 2018 Records of Achievement Award ceremony and gala to honor former first lady Laura Bush.
Oct. 11, 9:30 a.m.: The Senate Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and the Coast Guard Subcommittee meets for a hearing titled, “The Future of the Fleets: Coast Guard and NOAA Ship Recapitalization.”
Oct. 11, 1 p.m.: The Bipartisan Policy Center hosts a discussion with Election Assistance Commission Chairman Thomas Hicks, Matthew Masterson, senior cybersecurity adviser at the Homeland Security Department, New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Oliver, and Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams.
Oct. 11, 2 p.m.: The International Trade Administration hosts a meeting of the United States Travel and Tourism Advisory Board.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
XL: The annualized rate of driver turnover at large truckload fleets in the second quarter jumped 4 percentage points year-over-year to 98%, according to American Trucking Associations’ Trucking Activity Report.
FLYING CARS: Secretary Chao on Oct. 4 unveiled AV 3.0, the agency’s policy update of autonomous vehicle technology guidelines.
Chao delivered remarks on the updated guidance, titled “Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0,” at the Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington.
KEYSTONE: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has announced funding for 42 projects related to highways, bridges, transit, ports and pedestrian accessibility.
WHAT WE’RE READING:
Transport Topics recently sat down with Republican Reps. Jeff Denham (Calif.) and Sam Graves (Mo.) who are vying for the chairmanship of the Transportation committee in 2019. Below are their final remarks from those interviews:
Denham, on next year’s infrastructure plan: “There’s going to be a great deal of focus on creating safety throughout, especially when you’re dealing with goods movement.”
Graves, on his qualifications: “I can’t stress enough that I think my qualifications, again, are second to none and it’s just the experience that I bring to the table and what I have been capable of doing. I’ve been through the highway bill process now several, several times. I understand that process.”
To have high speed rail you need to have straightaways and Amtrak’s track lines, they kind of, you know, it kind of curves.
Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao at the 2018 Concordia Annual Summit on Sept. 24.
Great Moments in Congressional History
In other news …
‘We desperately need a new tunnel under the Hudson,’ @GovMurphy says when asked about yesterday’s Penn Station derailment, the effects of which are still being felt by commuters today.— Curtis Tate (@tatecurtis) October 5, 2018