DOT awards $1.8B in transportation infrastructure grants

Dive Brief:

  • Road, rail, transit and port projects across the U.S. are receiving $1.8 billion in discretionary grant awards from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity program, also known as RAISE grants, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced June 26.
  • Funding under this program, divided equally between urban and rural areas, this year will go to 148 projects across all 50 states and the District of Columbia along with American Samoa, Guam and Puerto Rico.
  • This year, the RAISE program received nearly $13 billion in requests for the $1.8 billion available, the DOT said in a press release.

Dive Insight:

The U.S. DOT says on a web page that the RAISE program uses “a rigorous merit-based process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make needed investments in our Nation’s infrastructure.”

The program receives $1.5 billion a year from the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act along with additional congressional appropriations. It is the current iteration of three national infrastructure investment programs. Earlier programs included the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development, or BUILD, discretionary grants and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grants.

“In [Washington,] D.C. the funding will go towards bicycle, and pedestrian improvements, including accessibility enhancements and traffic signal upgrades,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Washington’s non-voting delegate in the House, in an email. “I’m pleased DOT has announced these grants for similar projects across the country.”

The projects receiving funds in this year’s RAISE grant program include the following:

  • In Santa Ana, California, a grade separation project will get $25 million to reconstruct an existing railroad crossing adjacent to the Santa Ana Regional Transportation Center, an Amtrak and Metrolink commuter rail station that also serves local and intercity buses. The project includes protected bikeways, sidewalks and a pedestrian overcrossing.
  • In Durham, North Carolina, a project along the city’s busiest transit route will improve 33 intersections by installing accessible curb ramps and crosswalks, upgrading bus stop amenities and closing gaps in sidewalks. The project received a grant worth $12 million.
  • In Toledo, Ohio, $19.1 million in RAISE funding will go toward building over 4,000 feet of a one-mile multiuse path for pedestrians and cyclists that is separated from vehicle traffic to reduce accidents.
  • In Maine, three largely rural counties will replace Downeast Transportation’s existing bus fleet with 24 electric buses, including chargers, using $23.5 million in RAISE funding.

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