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DOT's Elaine Chao said the $84 billion budget request for fiscal 2020 would "provide results and maximize our resources.”

Chao: $900 million in infrastructure grants available

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $900 million in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

“These BUILD Transportation grants will provide needed infrastructure investment to better connect rural and urban communities around our nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao. 

Fiscal Year 2019 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.  

To reflect the Administration’s ongoing effort to rebalance past under-investment in rural America, DOT intends to award up to 50% of BUILD Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria.  

The FY 2019 BUILD program’s selection criteria gives special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas. This includes projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, deploy broadband as part of an eligible transportation project, or promote energy independence.

Selection criteria encompass safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, innovation and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders. 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 made available $900 million for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD grants.  For this round of BUILD grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $90 million can be awarded to a single state.

To provide technical assistance to a broad array of stakeholders, DOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY 2019 BUILD grant application process. Details and registration information regarding these webinars will be made available at https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants/outreach.

The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2019 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 15, 2019.

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