(Source: Progressive Railroading 06/11/2018)
The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday announced plans to allocate nearly $1.5 billion in proposed grants for 26 projects through the new Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program.
INFRA grants “support the Trump Administration’s commitment to fix the nation’s crumbling infrastructure by creating opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund various upgrades,” USDOT officials said in a press release. Moreover, the grant program encourages innovative approaches to improve the necessary processes for constructing significant projects and increases accountability for projects that are completed, they added.
Last year, the administration renamed the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies — or FASTLANE — program the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program and began accepting grant applications for the retooled initiative.
“These INFRA grants will empower states and communities to make significant long-term infrastructure improvements that will shape transportation and mobility for decades to come,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao.
The USDOT provides an INFRA grant totaling at least $25 million for what the department characterizes as a “large” project. The list of proposed grants for large projects include:
• $45 million for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s Belle Chasse Bridge and tunnel replacement project; and
• $25.5 million for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority’s Packer Avenue marine terminal capacity and warehouse relocation project.
The USDOT also provides an INFRA grant totaling at least $5 million for a “small” project (10 percent of available funds are reserved for such projects). The list of proposed grants for small projects include:
• $16.25 million for the Ohio Rail Development Commission’s track improvement project involving about 30 miles of rail line along the banks of the Ohio River;
• $14 million for the Wyoming Department of Transportation’s I-80 and Interchange Road improvements, which include the construction of a grade-separated crossing over a rail line; and
• $6 million for the University of Alabama’s 2nd Avenue connectivity corridor project, which includes building a bridge over an existing rail line.