US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg this week announced the availability of $2.9bn of funding through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for major infrastructure projects.
A single notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) that combines three major discretionary grant programs into one multimodal projects discretionary grant opportunity was used to enable the support of projects with funding from several federal grant programs. Putting three programs under a single NOFO makes it easier for communities to apply to one, two or three major discretionary grant programs with a single application and common set of criteria. A single solicitation will also help the Department of Transportation (DOT) get a more-comprehensive view of projects in development nationwide.
The National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program was created to fund major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs. The program will provide grants on a competitive basis to support multijurisdictional or regional projects of significance that may also cut across multiple modes of transportation. This program will receive up to $1bn this year and be able to provide multi-year funding to projects.
The Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program is an existing competitive program that will see a more-than-50% increase in this year’s funding. These grants fund highway, multimodal freight and rail projects. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides approximately $8bn for INFRA over five years, of which approximately $1.55bn will be made available through this NOFO.
The Rural Surface Transportation Grant (RURAL) program will support projects to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas to increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability of the movement of people and freight, and generate regional economic growth and improve quality of life. This year, DOT will award up to $300m in grants through the RURAL program.
Grants will be prioritised for projects that improve safety, economic competitiveness, equity, and climate and sustainability.
The deadline for applications is May 23.