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Deadline: March 31, 2021

Department of Transportation: Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Demonstration Program

The intent of the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Demonstration Program (the Program) is to demonstrate and evaluate the viability and effectiveness of a small number of accelerators in expediting the development and delivery of specific transportation projects. The Program assists entities in designating and funding Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIAs) that will: (1) serve a defined geographic area; (2) act as a resource to qualified entities in the geographic area in accordance with Section 1441 of the FAST Act; and (3) demonstrate the effectiveness of an RIA to expedite the delivery of eligible projects through the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) credit program and, to the extent applicable, the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) credit program, Private Activity Bonds (PABs) and other innovative financing methods.

The Build America Bureau (the Bureau) is interested in testing several RIA models to address needs based on common transportation infrastructure make-up and challenges within regions, particularly those with less capacity or experience in innovative financing and project delivery methods, and those supporting eligible entities that are likely to be first time users of the Bureau’s credit programs, such as the TIFIA credit program. Proposed projects and project sponsors (prospective borrowers) must meet the eligibility requirements for TIFIA and RRIF credit assistance (see solicitation for details).

The primary intent for the RIAs is to provide project-specific technical assistance for projects that are eligible for the TIFIA credit program. In addition, the Bureau is interested in identifying RIAs that can accelerate projects eligible for credit assistance through the RRIF credit program and PABs. This assistance can be in the form of any of the following, based on the needs of the project(s) that the applicant proposes to assist:

  • Project planning
  • Studies and analysis, including feasibility, market analysis, project costs, cost-benefit analysis, value for money, public benefit, economic assessments, and environmental reviews
  • Revenue forecasting, funding and financing options analyses, application of best practices, innovative financing/procurement, and public-private partnerships, where appropriate
  • Preliminary engineering and design work
  • Statutory and regulatory framework analyses
  • Evaluation of opportunities for private financing, project bundling and/or phasing
  • Enhancement of rural project sponsors’ capacity to use the TIFIA credit program and to the extent applicable, the RRIF credit program, PABs, and other innovative financing methods
  • Other direct, project-specific support as appropriate

Amount: $5,000,000 is available to make between 3-5 awards.
Note: The funding period is up to two years, with an option for a third year for RIAs that meet or exceed performance targets. Awards will take the form of program funding, as well as technical assistance and guidance.

Eligibility: U.S. public entities, including states, multi-jurisdictional groups, municipalities, counties, special purpose districts, or public authorities with a transportation function including tribal governments, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, regional transportation planning organizations (RTPO), Regional Transportation Commissions, a political subdivision of a State or local government, or a combination of the above. Applications will be accepted from a partnership between eligible applicants and other parties located in the U.S., such as private entities, consulting or engineering firms, etc., as long as an eligible public entity is the lead applicant.

Note: The Bureau seeks at least one State/multi-State application, one urban application, and one rurally focused application. However, flexibility exists to consider other proposed geographic configurations. See solicitation for definitions.

Link: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=330635

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