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Federal Funding Rollout Continues: USDOT Announces $2.9 Billion in 2022 in the Multimodal Discretionary Grant Program

By: 
Mark Muriello, Director, Policy and Government Affairs, IBTTA
Category: 
News

On March 23, 2022, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced the availability of $2.9 billion of funding for major infrastructure projects through a combined Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The newly established Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant Program (MPDG) combines three major discretionary grant programs into a single competitive grant opportunity. The combined program is intended to reduce the burdens of grant applications for state, regional and local applicants and expand the eligibility for “shovel-worthy” projects. The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm EDT on May 23, 2022.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity is available here and covers the following discretionary grant programs:

(1) Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Program: INFRA is an existing competitive program that will see a more than 50% increase in this year’s funding due to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Projects considered under the INFRA program are aimed to improve safety, generate economic benefits, reduce congestion, enhance resiliency and hold the greatest promise to eliminate supply chain bottlenecks and improve critical freight movements. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides approximately $8 billion for INFRA over the next five years, of which approximately $1.55 billion will be made available through this NOFO.

(2) National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) Program: MEGA was created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs. The program provides competitively awarded grants to support multijurisdictional or regional projects of significance that may also cut across multiple transportation modes. Eligible projects could include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail and public transportation projects of national and regional significance. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will award half of the program’s funding to projects greater than $500 million in cost, and the remaining 50% to projects greater than $100 million but less than $500 million in cost. The program will provide up to $1 billion this year and be able to provide multi-year funding to selected projects.

(3) Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (RURAL): RURAL was established in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas. Eligible projects for RURAL grants include highway, bridge and tunnel projects that improve freight, safety and create or expand access to agricultural, commercial, energy or transportation facilities that support rural economies. In 2022, USDOT will award up to $300 million in grants through the RURAL program of the total of $2 billion included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law over five years.

As with much of the federal surface transportation program, USDOT will make awards under the Multimodal Projects Discretionary Grant Program consistent with statutory requirements and focused on projects that improve safety, economic competitiveness, equity and climate and sustainability. Applicants are encouraged to maintain a clear focus on these objectives. 

A USDOT webinar series is available for potential applicants to ask questions regarding the FY 2022 MPDG competition here.

If you have questions, please contact Mark Muriello at mmuriello@ibtta.org.

Newsletter publish date: 
Thursday, March 24, 2022 - 10:30

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