WASHINGTON - The Department of Transportation has provided a list of 10 proposed FY 2017 FASTLANE Small Project grant awards totaling $78.88 million to the authorizing committees of jurisdiction for a 60-day Congressional review period.
This year, seven of the ten proposed grants are targeted for projects in rural areas to increase freight mobility and produce greater economic opportunities. The proposed awards will enhance safety at over 100 rail crossings, repair nearly 250 miles of track and improve over 70 rail bridges, allowing communities in Maine, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, and Texas access to the national freight rail network. In total, the $78.88 million in proposed FASTLANE awards will lead to approximately $217 million in total investment in infrastructure.
“Transportation is a key to accessing opportunity and improving our quality of life,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao. “These targeted investments will assist communities in building infrastructure systems that will improve safety for the traveling public and provide increased access to greater long-term economic opportunity.”
The FAST Act established the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program, also known as the FASTLANE program, to provide financial assistance to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects that align with the program goals to improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of freight and people; generate national or regional economic benefits and an increase in global economic competitiveness of the U.S. reduce highway congestion and bottlenecks; improve connectivity between modes of freight transportation; enhance the resiliency of critical highway infrastructure and help protect the environment; improve roadways vital to national energy security; and address the impact of population growth on the movement of people and freight.
Each fiscal year, 10% of FASTLANE grants are reserved for “small projects” that are under the minimum project cost threshold of at least $100 million.
The Department will initiate obligation and commitment of funds for the proposed awards following the 60-day Congressional review period, absent a joint resolution disapproving funding for any of the projects. The Department is accepting applications until 8:00 p.m. EDT on November 2, 2017 for FY 2017 Large Projects and FY 2018 Large and Small Projects under the Infrastructure Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grants program Notice of Funding Opportunity published on July 5, 2017.
The proposed recipients of the discretionary grants are listed here:
US 550 South Connection to US 160, La Plata County, Colorado, $12,312,886.50 - to construct a new 1.7-mile alignment of US 550, connecting with US 160 at the Grandview Interchange.
Taylor County Florida Competitiveness & Employment by Rail (CEBYR) Project, Taylor County, Florida, $8,671,513.50 – to rehabilitate the Georgia & Florida Railway (GFRR) including upgrades to 19 active warning public grade crossing devices, rebuilding 90 public and private grade crossing surfaces, hardening 16 bridges to support increased traffic, installing approximately 70,000 crossties, and resurfacing approximately 80 miles of railway between Foley, Florida and Adel, Georgia.
Burns Harbor: Enhanced Intermodal Facilities with Rail & Truck Marshalling Yards, Ports of Indiana, Indiana, $9,850,000 - to construct a series of efficiency-enhancing improvements that will also allow the port to increase their cargo handling capacity.
Maine Railroad Bridge Capacity Project, Maine Department of Transportation, Maine $7,890,000 - to repair and upgrade 22 rail bridges on the Madawaska Subdivision of the state-owned railway in northeastern Maine.
U.S. Highway 10 Lake Michigan Crossing Dock Facility Improvements, City of Ludington/City of Manitowoc, Mason County, Michigan and Manitowoc, Wisconsin, $5,000,000 - to replace and update the 70-year-old ferry docking and berthing facilities in Ludington, MI, and Manitowoc, WI.
North Central Mississippi Railway Project, North Central Mississippi Regional Railroad Authority, Mississippi, $7,540,000 - to rehabilitate an approximately 90-mile stretch of track of the Grenada Railroad between Grenada and Canton, MS, as well as repair the Coldwater River bridge near Coldwater, MS.
Rogers’ Rangers Bridge, State of New Hampshire, Coos County, New Hampshire and Essex County, Vermont, $5,000,000 - to replace the Rogers’ Rangers Bridge that carries U.S. Route 2 over the Connecticut River between New Hampshire and Vermont.
Evans Avenue Railroad Grade Separation Improvements, City of Akron, Ohio, $5,715,600 - to conduct improvements to Evans Avenue. Evans Avenue currently carries approximately 4,000 vehicles per day and has two at-grade crossings with CSXT Railroad and the Akron Metro Regional Transit Authority (RTA).
Northern Columbia Basin Rail Road Project, Port of Moses Lake, Grant County, Washington, $9,900,000 - to complete construction of the Northern Columbia Basin Rail Project. The Port of Moses Lake includes a port facility as well as the Grant County International Airport and over 4,500 acres of industrial areas; however, it currently has no rail access.
SORR Rehabilitation and Presidio International Rail Bridge Reconstruction, Texas Department of Transportation, West Texas, $7,000,000 - to repair the Presidio-Ojinaga International Rail Bridge, and rehabilitate approximately 72 miles of the state-owned South Orient Railroad, from the U.S./Mexico border to the Paisano Junction, near Alpine, Texas.
Additional information on the INFRA and FASTLANE program is available here: https://www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/infragrants