The deadline to submit applications for new federal infrastructure grants is Nov. 2, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced.
Under the new INFRA (Infrastructure for Rebuilding America) grants DOT announced last month, states must propose projects that would help incentivize private-sector funding. The INFRA grants will be “using innovative approaches to improve the necessary processes for building significant projects,” DOT explained.
“The president and the department are committed to revitalizing, repairing and rebuilding America’s aging infrastructure,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said. “By ensuring the right incentives, projects selected under this program will be better able to make significant, long-term improvements to America’s transportation infrastructure.”
DOT indicated that “an application that proposes a 20% federal share will be more competitive than an otherwise identical application proposing 50% federal share.” Specifically, projects that incorporate private sector contributions, such as a public-private partnership, are “likely to be more competitive than those that rely solely on public nonfederal funding,” according to DOT.
For large projects, the INFRA grants must be at least $25 million, and for small projects, the grant must be at least $5 million, according to the DOT announcement. For each fiscal year, 10% of funding availability will be aimed at smaller projects. Requests for funding for a network of projects could entail improvements to efficiency along a rail corridor.
Ten percent of funding scheduled for this year will be awarded to projects qualifying as “small.”
The INFRA grants replaced the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grants, which targeted freight projects. Agencies and authorities that had sought FASTLANE grants and choose to reapply for the INFRA grants must specify how their projects meet the new guidelines.