U.S. Department of Transportation: Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program
The Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program (RURAL) will support projects to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas to increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability of the movement of people and freight, and generate regional economic growth and improve quality of life. See solicitation for definitions of Rural and Urban areas.
RURAL is one of three funding opportunities under the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant Opportunity. The Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant allows applicants to apply for one, or up to all three opportunities through a single application. Applicants are encouraged to apply for multiple programs, to maximize their potential of receiving Federal support. See solicitation for details.
Eligible projects include:
- A highway, bridge, or tunnel project eligible under National Highway Performance Program
- A highway, bridge, or tunnel project eligible under Surface Transportation Block Grant
- A highway, bridge, or tunnel project eligible under Tribal Transportation Program
- A highway freight project eligible under National Highway Freight Program
- A highway safety improvement project, including a project to improve a high-risk rural road as defined by the Highway Safety Improvement Program
- A project on a publicly owned highway or bridge that provides or increases access to an agricultural, commercial, energy, or intermodal facility that supports the economy of a rural area
- A project to develop, establish, or maintain an integrated mobility management system, a transportation demand management system, or on-demand mobility services
An application may request funding for a network of projects—a single grant award that funds multiple projects addressing the same transportation problem. An eligible entity may bundle two or more similar eligible projects if projects are included as a bundled project in a statewide transportation improvement program, and will be awarded to a single contractor or consultant pursuant to a contract for engineering and design or construction between the contractor and the eligible entity.
Eligible Project Costs include:
- Development phase activities, including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, preliminary engineering and design work, and other preconstruction activities
- Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of real property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, acquisition of equipment, and operational improvements
The Department seeks to fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are designed with specific elements to address climate change impacts; and address environmental justice, particularly for communities that may disproportionately experience consequences from climate change and other pollutants. The Department also seeks to fund projects that target at least 40 percent of resources and benefits towards low-income, disadvantaged, or overburdened communities, or communities underserved by affordable transportation; as well as projects that address equity and barriers to opportunity, including automobile dependence as a form of barrier, or redress prior inequities and barriers to opportunity. See solicitation for details.
For a project to be selected, the Department must determine that the project meets the following five requirements. See solicitation for details.
#1: will generate regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits
#2: will be cost-effective
#3: will contribute to the accomplishment of 1 or more of the national goals under 23 U.S.C. § 150
#4: is based on the results of preliminary engineering
#5: is reasonably expected to begin construction not later than 18 months after the date of obligation of funds for the project
Amount: $300,000,000 is available for this program.
Note: Grants may be used for up to 80 percent of future eligible project costs, except eligible projects that further the completion of a designated segment of the Appalachian Development Highway System or address a surface transportation infrastructure need identified for the Denali access system program may apply for up to 100 percent of the project costs. Other Federal assistance may satisfy the non-Rural Surface Transportation Grant share requirement for a grant up to 100 percent of project costs.
Eligibility: Eligible applicants include a State; a regional transportation planning organization; a unit of local government; a tribal government or a consortium of tribal governments; or a multijurisdictional group of entities above.
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