DOT Announces $1.5 Billion INFRA Grant Proposed Awards

Congress Has 60 Days to Review
On June 6, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced its proposed list of 26 projects – totaling $1.535 billion – to be awarded under the INFRA grant program (called FASTLANE grants by the Obama Administration). The official list of projects can be found here. Congress has 60 days to review the list and decide whether to reject any or all of the projects.
The grant program was established in the 2015 FAST Act and is focused on freight movement designed to prioritize highways, though some limited rail and port infrastructure is allowed as long as it reduces congestion on highways. The law specified that 10 percent of the funds be available for small projects valued at $5 million or more. Large projects must be at least $25 million. At least 25 percent of funding must go to rural projects.
The $1.535 billion for these grants combines two years’ (FY 2017 and FY 2018) worth of funding established in the FAST Act, less $79 million given out last year for small projects from the FY 2017 funding. The administration solicited proposals from states for the FY 2017 funding but, just prior to the deadline for submissions, changed the selection criteria by adding a new factor based on the amount of non-federal funds states would provide. This criteria is in keeping with the incentive grant emphasis that is part of the administration’s infrastructure proposal introduced earlier this year. The focus on non-federal funding has also become a factor considered for awarding grants under the Build (formerly TIGER) program. President Trump also donated his fourth-quarter 2017 salary to the program.
For more information, contact Sean O’Neill at [email protected] or (202) 547-8892.

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