By the end of this year, USDOT said in a statement on Oct. 10 that it will have made more than $63.9 billion in fiscal year 2018 available in multi-modal discretionary and formula transportation investments, along with $1.6 billion in fiscal year 2017 discretionary funds – dollars the agency views as “seed money” to encourage additional infrastructure investment by states, localities, and private sector partners.
[Above photo by Beyond DC.]
USDOT said it has released Notices of Funding Opportunity for nearly 90 percent of the funding from FY 2018, the federal fiscal year that recently ended, to solicit applications, with most of those applications now closed and/or with grants awarded. Another roughly $6.4 billion was not made available through these programs.
Major grant programs through which some of those funds have been channeled include: the new $1.5 billion Infrastructure for Rebuilding America or INFRA program; the $1.5 billion Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development or BUILD program, formerly called the Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER program; and the $3 billion Airport Improvement Program (AIP), to which Congress added a further $1 billion in late September.
USDOT added that those programs are designed to help spur non-federal investments in transportation infrastructure. For example, the INFRA program is projected to “leverage” an estimated $6.1 billion in additional funds from state, local and other funding sources, the agency said.
Other notable transportation funding disbursements highlighted by USDOT include:
- In addition to highways receiving major funding through the BUILD and INFRA programs, the Federal Highway Administration announced $225 million in Competitive Highway Bridge Program or CHBP grants in early September.
- In April, the Federal Transit Administration selected 139 projects in 52 states and territories to receive $264 million to improve the safety and reliability of America’s bus systems and enhance mobility for transit riders via its Buses and Bus Facilities Infrastructure Investment program. The agency put another $366.2 million in grants on the table in June via that program focused on helping financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing or leasing bus-related facilities.
- The Federal Railroad Administration issued a series of NOFOs this year via its Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements or CRISI program totaling $568 million, of which $203 million went to support the implementation of positive train control (PTC) technology.
- The Maritime Administration announced a NOFO soliciting applications under the America’s Marine Highway Grants for nearly $5 million back in June; grants aimed at buttressing projects that are part of a designated Marine Highway project and will assist with mitigating traffic congestion on the land due to rising freight demand.