USDOT: $1B available for infrastructure, incl water quality improvements

federal RAISE transportation project grants continue BUILD, TIGER capital investments

The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) is making $1 billion in fiscal year 2021 discretionary grants available via the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program. Applications are due by 12 July 2021.

This is one of few DOT discretionary programs for which regional and local governments can directly compete for multimodal transportation funding.

Criteria include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and an array of “partnership” factors. U.S. DOT plans to prioritize projects that can demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change, and create good-paying jobs.

For this funding round, the maximum grant award is $25 million. A single state will not be awarded more than $100 million. U.S. DOT also plans to issue up to $30 million for planning grants, including at least $10 million to “Areas of Persistent Poverty.”

Read the official Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) here.

Examples of Winning Projects featuring Water Quality improvements

  • 2020 BUILD award: Pyramid Highway Improvements
    Regional Transportation Commission of Washoe County, Nevada received $23 million of the total $54.1 million cost to reduce traffic congestion and minimize rear-end crashes. In particular, a section of the Pyramid Highway was widened and a surface road reconstructed. Street improvements include the installation smart traffic signals and widening the median, shoulders, bike lanes, and sidewalks. Additional installation of enhanced drainage and stormwater infrastructure reduces storm water pollution.

  • traffic flood warning system | photo credit eltecorp.com2015 TIGER award: Houston Roadway Flood Warning System
    The City of Houston was granted an estimated $9.4 million of the total $14.4 million cost to alert drivers to flood risk conditions and advise them to avoid flooded roads. Intelligent transportation system (ITS) devices were deployed to 40 new or reconstructed flood warning system (FWS) locations.

    Devices include high water sensors, master stations, advanced roadside yellow flashers where appropriate, approach overhead red flashers on signal mast arms over travel lanes, and CCTV cameras. Additional improvements were planned for 27 existing locations and 12 existing underpass natural-gas pumping stations. Installation of pumping stations is expected to increase roadway resiliency and operation during extreme weather events.

  • 2015 TIGER award: Northstar Blvd. – U.S. Rte 50 Connector
    Loudon County, Virginia received $25 million of the total $80 million cost to construct a new 1.6-mi. controlled access thoroughfare to connect Northstar Boulevard to U.S. Route 50. The north-south alternative was designed to relieve congestion on routes subject to flooding. The safer, more efficient transportation corridor not only provides more reliable access to the more rural portion of the county, but was also designed with innovative storm water controls, including groundwater recharge facilities, storm water management ponds with wetland fore bays and storm water filters.

  • 2015 TIGER award: Frankfort Second Street Corridor Project
    The City of Frankfort, Kentucky was awarded about $8 million of the total $12.4 million cost to improve pedestrian access to an elementary school in an economically distressed part of the city. Reconstructing the corridor improve public safety by slowing vehicular traffic, shortening pedestrian crossings, widening sidewalks and improving bicycle accommodations. In addition, the project separated combined sewer and sanitary lines as well as installed green infrastructure to capture and filter stormwater -- improving water quality compliance.

  • 2015 TIGER award: Chalmette Slip Reconstruction
    St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District of Louisiana was granted $13 million of the total $30 million cost to complete the modernization of its cargo wharves. The last two original wharf sections date back to 1907 -- significantly limiting the operational safety of the Chalmette Slip, the only deep-draft calm water slip on the lower Mississippi River. The project adds much needed docking space to open the port to more cargo exchanges, reducing transportation costs and protecting ships during hurricanes and other inclement weather events.

Chalmette Slip | photo credit The St. Bernard Voice

continuity of USDOT infrastructure investment

The RAISE program is known formerly as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program during the Trump-Pence Administration as well as the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program during the Obama-Biden Administration.