Biden-Harris Administration Opens Streamlined Application Process for More Than $5.5 Billion in Funding to Help Carry Out Major Infrastructure Projects Across the Country
Funding is possible because of President Biden's Investing in America Agenda and includes specific funding for major projects in rural areas
WASHINGTON -- Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the Department of Transportation is now taking applications for up to $5.575 billion in funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for projects of regional or national significance. This funding supports three major discretionary grant programs that involve surface transportation projects designed to strengthen supply chains, spur economic development, and improve safety and daily life. Applications for funding are being solicited together under a single opportunity titled the Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda that is growing the American economy from the bottom up and middle-out – from rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, to creating a manufacturing and innovation boom powered by good-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree, to building a clean-energy economy that will combat climate change and make our communities more resilient.
“From fixing rural roads that would otherwise have trouble getting federal funding, to addressing some of the largest and most recognizable bridges and tunnels in the country, the funds in these three programs are supporting transformational infrastructure projects across the nation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Using a combined process to reduce paperwork, we are pleased to open this new round of funding for applications and look forward to hearing from project sponsors around the country seeking funds to help strengthen their communities through infrastructure.”
Available funding includes:
- $1.8 billion for the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) program: The Mega program supports large, complex projects that are difficult to fund by other means and are likely to generate national or regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits. Eligible projects could include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail, and public transportation projects of national or regional significance. Per the law, 50 percent of funds are available for projects above $500 million in total cost, and 50 percent are available for projects between $100 million and $500 million in total cost.
- $3.1 billion for the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program: The INFRA program awards competitive grants to multimodal freight and highway projects of national or regional significance to improve the safety, accessibility, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of freight and people in and across rural and urban areas. Eligible projects will improve safety, generate economic benefits, reduce congestion, enhance resiliency, and hold the greatest promise to eliminate supply chain bottlenecks and improve critical freight movements.
- $675 million for the Rural Surface Transportation Grant (Rural) program: The Rural program supports projects that improve and expand our nation’s surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas in order 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. Eligible projects for Rural grants include highway, bridge, and tunnel projects that help improve freight, safety, and provide or increase access to agricultural, commercial, energy, or transportation facilities that support the economy of a rural area. 90% of rural funding must be awarded in $25 million or greater amounts.
Last year, the Department awarded nearly $1.2 billion from the Mega Program for nine projects across the country that will create good-paying jobs, grow the economy strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users.
The Department also awarded $274 million for 12 projects through the Rural grant program and $1.5 billion for 26 projects through the INFRA program. A full list of awarded projects for each grant program is available here: 2022 Mega, 2022 Rural, 2022 INFRA.
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law makes available up to $5 billion for the Mega; up to $8 billion to the INFRA program; and up to $2 billion for the Rural program, for a combined total of up to $15 billion for FY 2022 through 2026. Congress may supplement these amounts through additional annual appropriations. Applications which are seeking $1 billion or more in MPDG funding will be reviewed and assessed on whether the current project’s estimated costs are reasonable and whether lower cost alternatives exist to keep costs lower, and keep projects on time and on budget.
Last year the Department piloted the combined NOFO for these three programs to make it easier for communities to apply to one, two, or three major discretionary grant programs with a single application and a common set of criteria. Following the overwhelmingly positive feedback from that process, USDOT decided to continue with a combined NOFO for the 2023 application cycle. The combined application also helps the Department proactively assist project sponsors match projects with the most appropriate grant program.
The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm EDT on August 21, 2023, Applicants may find the NOFO, Frequently Asked Questions, and other helpful resources here.