Biden-Harris Administration Announces $1.5 Billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for 26 Transportation Projects Nationwide
This year’s INFRA awards emphasize projects that strengthen supply chains, help make goods more affordable and are located in rural areas and historically disadvantaged communities
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $1.5 billion from the popular Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) competitive grant program for highway, multimodal freight and rail projects that will make the nation's transportation systems safer and more resilient, eliminate supply chain bottlenecks, and improve critical freight movements. President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law increased funding for the INFRA program by more than 50 percent to help meet high demand for federal funding to support projects across the country. Over the next five years, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will provide approximately $8 billion for the INFRA program, including the $1.5 billion made available in this round of funding.
"Today we are announcing transformative investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, ports, and rail to improve the way Americans get around and help lower the costs of shipping goods,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Using funding from President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we are able to support more excellent community-led projects this year than ever before."
Thanks to a new, streamlined process created by the USDOT to reduce the burden on state and local entities, applicants were able to submit one application for three different grant programs, including INFRA and two new programs, the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program (RURAL), and the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program (Mega). The recipients of RURAL and Mega grants will be announced in the coming months.
In addition to prioritizing projects that will deliver national or regional economic benefits, INFRA projects were also evaluated based on safety, how they supported freight movement and job creation, their efforts to address climate change and resiliency, impacts on equity and quality of life, how they applied innovative technology, their cost effectiveness, and demonstrated project readiness. Further, USDOT awarded a significant amount of funding to rural areas, historically disadvantaged communities, and areas of persistent poverty to address historic underinvestment in these communities. Approximately 43% percent of awards will go to rural projects, exceeding the statutory requirement to award rural projects 25% of INFRA funding.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law also expanded INFRA eligibility to include, for example, wildlife crossing projects, marine highway corridor projects, and surface transportation projects located within or functionally connected to an international border crossing.
The below projects are a few examples of this year's INFRA grant projects recipients:
I-4 West Central Florida Truck Parking Facility: In West Central Florida USDOT is investing in a project that will tackle the shortage of commercial truck parking on a corridor between Tampa and Orlando, which carries an average of 18,000 trucks daily. The project will construct a new truck parking facility with approximately 120 spaces, electric charging stations, and pedestrian infrastructure to access nearby commercial amenities. The truck parking facility will be connected to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Truck Parking Availability System to assist commercial vehicle drivers in identifying available parking locations and will include at least six electrical hookups to provide stand-by power for refrigerated trucks and auxiliary power for in-cab comforts.
Rockport Bridge Rehabilitation Freight Rail Project: In the Green River Area Development District that spans Ohio and Muhlenberg Counties in Kentucky USDOT is investing in the rehabilitation of the 100-year-old Rockport Railroad Bridge that serves as a vital link for the transportation of commodities such as chemicals, grain, coal, lumber, steel, and petroleum along the 280-mile railway. Commodities would be diverted to truck if the bridge were to be closed.
The project will replace the deck of the bridge and upgrading the electrical and mechanical components that allow the bridge to be raised to accommodate river traffic.
I-375 Community Reconnection Project: In Detroit, Michigan USDOT is investing in project that will reconnect neighborhoods that were divided by the current highway design with an at- grade boulevard, providing the community better access to jobs and services in the area. The project will also reduce operating and maintenance costs for the improved roadway. The project will realign the ramps and freeway near I-375, convert I-375 to a slower speed boulevard, install calming traffic measures, rehabilitate a stormwater runoff pump station, construct wider sidewalks, and reconnect neighborhood streets to the boulevard in the project area.
I-39/90/94 Wisconsin River Bridges Project: In Columbia County, Wisconsin, USDOT is investing to replace the existing I-39/90/94 Wisconsin River Bridge with two new bridge spans dedicated to serve traffic in opposite directions. Two overcrossing bridges for county roads will also be replaced. The bridge replacement addresses the declining state of the bridges, which if not addressed now, could have frequent and lengthy closures for repairs and negative impacts on supply chains in the future. Twenty-three percent of the bridge traffic is composed of truck traffic, as the route links economic hubs in Madison, Milwaukee, and Chicago. The route also connects major tourism destinations, with a large share of Wisconsin’s tourism revenue coming from the counties adjacent to the project area. Further, the high-performance materials used in the construction will reduce the need and frequency for maintenance.
Otay Mesa East Port of Entry Project: In San Diego, CA USDOT is investing in a project that strengthens the supply chain by constructing a new road (State Route 11) and Port of Entry facility at Otay Mesa. The new Port of Entry will provide an alternative for nearly 3,600 trucks that cross the existing Otay Mesa and Tecate Ports of Entries daily, which are operating at capacity. The project facilitates freight movement across borders with destinations at nearby distribution centers and warehouses, the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Inland Empire’s mega-distribution centers in Riverside and San Bernardino counties. The project sponsor will establish a local hire agreement targeting disadvantaged groups, as well as a pre- apprenticeship program.
The full list of proposed awards can be found on the Department of Transportation’s website at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/infra-2022-fact-sheets
More information can be found on the Department’s INFRA site located at: https://www.transportation.gov/grants/infra-grants-program