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Department of Transportation: National Infrastructure Investments

Deadline: July 2, 2021

National Infrastructure Investments are now known as Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants, formerly TIGER and BUILD Transportation Grants. RAISE grants are for capital investments in surface transportation that will have a significant local or regional impact. RAISE funding aligns with the Department of Transportation (DOT’s) infrastructure goal by guiding strategic investments that enable more efficient movement of people and goods. The FY 2021 RAISE round also highlights priorities to invest in national infrastructure projects that result in good-paying jobs, improve safety, apply transformative technology, and explicitly address climate change and racial equity. Finally, DOT seeks rural projects that address deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on rural transportation infrastructure. Visit https://www.transportation.gov/rural to learn more about DOT’s efforts to address disparities in rural infrastructure.

Projects that consider climate change and environmental justice projects should directly support Climate Action Plans or apply environmental justice screening tools in the planning stage. Projects should include components that reduce emissions, promote energy efficiency, increase resiliency, and recycle or redevelop existing infrastructure. To the extent possible, RAISE grants will target at least 40% of resources and benefits towards low-income communities, disadvantaged communities, communities underserved by affordable transportation, or overburdened communities. Projects that have not sufficiently considered climate change and environmental justice in their planning, will be required to before receiving funds for construction.

The RAISE program aims to encourage racial equity in two areas: (1) incorporating planning and adopting policies related to racial equity and reducing barriers to opportunity; and (2) investing in projects that either proactively address racial equity and barriers to opportunity, including automobile dependence as a form of barrier, or redress prior inequities and barriers to opportunity. Projects that have not sufficiently considered racial equity in their planning, will be required to before receiving funds for construction.

Eligible projects include:
* Capital projects: (1) highway, bridge, or other road projects; (2) public transportation projects; (3) passenger and freight rail transportation projects; (4) port infrastructure investments; (5) intermodal projects; and (6) projects investing in surface transportation facilities that are located on tribal land. Research, demonstration, or pilot projects are eligible only if they will result in long-term, permanent surface transportation infrastructure that has independent utility.
* Planning projects: Activities related to the planning, preparation, or design— for example environmental analysis, feasibility studies, and other pre-construction activities—of eligible surface transportation capital projects.

The primary selection criteria for awards are safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and state of good repair. The secondary selection criteria are partnership and innovation.

Amount: $1,000,000,000 is available. Grants range from $5 million-$25 million in urban areas and $1 million- $25 million in rural areas. There is no minimum award size for planning grants. The federal share of project costs under the RAISE grant program may not exceed 80 percent for urban projects. The the federal share of costs may be increased above 80 percent for projects located in rural areas and for planning projects located in areas of persistent poverty.

In addition to capital awards, no more than $30 million will be awarded for planning preparation or design of projects eligible for RAISE Grants that do not result in construction, of which at least $10 million will be awarded to projects located in or to directly benefit areas of persistent poverty. DOT may also retain up to $20 million of the $1 billion for award, oversight, and administration of grants and credit assistance made under the program.

Funding restrictions:
* No more than 10 percent of the funding for RAISE grants (or $100 million) may be awarded to projects in a single state.
* Not more than 50 percent of the funds provided for RAISE grants (or $500 million) shall be awarded to rural projects.
* Not more than 50 percent of the funds provided for RAISE grants (or $500 million) shall be awarded to urban projects.

Eligibility: State, local, Tribal, and U.S. territories’ governments, including transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other political subdivisions of state or local governments.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=332831


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