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U.S. Department of Transportation Announces FY 2021 Round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced last week that it is seeking applicants for the $889 million in discretionary grants that will be available through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program for Fiscal Year 2021. This year’s program also creates an “INFRA Extra” Program, to identify competitive INFRA applicants not selected for an INFRA grant award but authorizes them to seek a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (TIFIA) loan up to 49 percent of their project cost.

The INFRA grants program targets transportation projects of “national and regional significance.” INFRA grants may be used to fund a variety of infrastructure project costs, including reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of property, environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, equipment acquisition, and operational improvements directly related to system performance. Priority consideration is given to projects with substantial prior local investment and ready to proceed to construction rapidly.  

This year, the program is introducing selection criteria that are aligned with President Biden’s priorities for creating good-paying jobs, improving safety, applying transformative technology, and explicitly addressing climate change and racial equity. The climate change criterion will assess how well the project is part of a comprehensive climate change strategy prepared to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, deploying zero-emission vehicle infrastructure or encouraging modal shift and a reduction in vehicle-miles-traveled. The racial equity criterion will evaluate the extent of equity-focused community outreach and project designs aimed at improved connections to underserved communities. USDOT will also favor projects located in federally designated community development zones, including qualified Opportunity Zones, Empowerment Zones, Promise Zones, or Choice Neighborhoods. INFRA projects will also be selected based upon their use of innovative technology, delivery, or financing methods. 

The INFRA grants will be awarded to both large and small projects. Large projects require the INFRA grant to be at least $25 million, while small projects target grants to be at least $5 million. Small projects will comprise at least 10 percent of the awards and rural projects will receive at least 25 percent of the awards.

The INFRA grant Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at https://www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/financing/infra-grants/infra-2021-notice-funding-opportunity.

The deadline for submissions is March 19, 2021. 

Newsletter publish date: 
Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 01:00

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