U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao June 8 announced the award of $1.5 billion in federal grants to support 26 highway and freight improvement project in 23 states. The Georgia Department of Transportation will receive the largest grant—$184 million for an express lanes project. The smallest award is $6 million to the University of Alabama to construct a bridge over an existing rail line.
 
The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee released the list of recipients June 5.
 
The funds to support these grants were authorized by the 2015 FAST Act surface transportation reauthorization law under a newly created “Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program” that would provide on average $900 million a year to support projects with a minimum total cost of $100 million (10 percent of the available resources are reserved for small projects with a minimum cost of $5 million).
 
The Trump administration announced last year that it was repurposing the program to focus on innovation and leveraging federal funds. According to a Nov. 7, 2017, statement, “The new program will increase the impact of projects by leveraging capital and allowing innovation in the project delivery and permitting processes, including public-private partnerships.” The administration also announced it was renaming the program as “Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grant” or “INFRA Grants.” Click here to continue reading…
 
Credit: Dean Franks, Sr. VP, Congressional Relations, ARTBA | Washington Newsline
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