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US Department of Transportation Announces Billions of Dollars of Funding Available for Rural Communities under the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Secretary Buttigieg visited Tell City, Indiana today to promote these investments as part of the Administration’s Building a Better America Rural Infrastructure Tour, with other DOT leaders to fan out across the country in the coming weeks.

The Department of Transportation announced this week over $44 billion in funding available over the next five years for rural communities to rebuild and modernize roads, bridges, transit, ports and airports under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The Department has created a fact sheet highlighting BIL funding opportunities for rural communities to make it easier for rural leaders to find opportunities relevant to their communities. 

Secretary Buttigieg visited Tell City, Indiana today to discuss these investments. View his remarks here

The Department also announced that is has reconvened the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) Council to lead the Department's efforts to engage rural communities, implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s new rural funds and coordinate a whole-of-government approach to rural infrastructure. 

Rural and tribal communities are essential to the success of our nation but face significant challenges, including when it comes to infrastructure. Currently, 13 percent of rural roads, and just over 10 percent of off-system bridges — most of which are in rural areas — are in poor condition. The fatality rate is two times higher on rural roads than urban roads. Rural residents are less likely to have feasible alternatives to driving, and therefore face disproportionate transportation costs and barriers to jobs, schools, and stores if they lose the ability to drive.

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve rural infrastructure. The ROUTES Council will help coordinate programs and policies across all of DOT to address the unique infrastructure and mobility challenges of rural communities. USDOT is committed to helping rural communities build capacity in order to take advantage of the funding available through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to plan, fund and deliver projects that meet their unique needs. 

The Department of Transportation has already begun making technical assistance along with billions of dollars of funding for rural projects available under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including:

  • Opened applications for the new Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program, which will provide competitive grants to state and regional transportation planning organizations, local governments, and Tribal governments to improve and expand the surface transportation infrastructure in rural areas, 
  • Announced record levels of funding to repair or replace bridges under the new Bridge Formula Program. This program has an important provision for rural communities, allowing for federal funds to be used for full replacement costs for off-system bridges.
  • Announced funding for 11 states in the Appalachian Development Highway System
  • Opened applications for the RAISE grant program (link), which has 50% more funding this year under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Under BIL, 50% of RAISE awards must go to rural areas, and rural communities are eligible for 100% federal funding (no local match required). 
  • Released a toolkit to help rural communities access funds available through National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program, and announced that nearly $5 billion over five years will be available to help states create a network of EV charging stations particularly along the Interstate Highway System.

Starting this week, as part of President Biden’s Building a Better American Rural Infrastructure Tour, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and other senior leaders from the Department will be fanning out across the country to rural communities. These trips will highlight the billions of dollars in funding for transportation for rural and Tribal communities – which are key to our nation’s economic competitiveness and well-being – that are available under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.  These investments are essential to bringing good-paying jobs and economic opportunity back to rural America – and drive the compete in the 21st century. 

This tour will also provide valuable opportunities for senior DOT staff to hear directly from local elected, community, and business leaders about priorities in their communities. 

The President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also known as the Investment in Infrastructure and Jobs Act, is the Biden-Harris Administration’s plan for building a better America with a $1.2 trillion investment in our nation’s infrastructure and competitiveness.  This Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal will rebuild America’s roads, bridges and rails, upgrade and expand public transit, modernize the nation’s ports and airports, improve safety, tackle the climate crisis, advance environmental justice, and invest in communities that have too often been left behind. It will drive the creation of good-paying union jobs and grow the economy sustainably and equitably to help everyone get ahead for decades to come.