U.S. Department of Transportation Announces New Members to its Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program
USDOT program supports innovative practices to speed up project delivery that could be replicated nationwide
WASHINGTON – The U.S Department of Transportation today announced five new recipients of funding under the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) program, bringing the total number of grant recipients to 10 regions. The RIA program will help accelerate project delivery through a variety of ways, including project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work.
The selected RIAs are:
- Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA): $750,000
- The LinkUS Mobility Initiative for Central Ohio has the primary objective of improving mobility systems within COTA’s service area. This includes the development of high-capacity transit corridors, investments in smart mobility options such as first/mile last mile service, and enhanced bus service with increased frequency.
- Dona Ana County, New Mexico: $1.1 million
- The New Mexico Trade RIA will guide and implement the creation of the New Mexico TradePort through its planning, project structuring, construction and operating stages. This includes building new infrastructure that will accelerate the County and region’s transition to a low carbon economy and developing expansion opportunity for allied trade and transportations service providers.
- Panhandle Regional Planning Commission, Texas: $454,842
- The Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (PRPC) proposes to establish an RIA within the organization in order to identify project specific outcomes and delivery methods. This includes a rail revitalization project and road modernization project directly linked to economic and social growth opportunities in 40+ rural Texas panhandle counties.
- Resilient SR 37 Program, CA: $1.5 million
- The Metropolitan Planning Commission will lead a comprehensive effort to address congestion, flood protection, sea-level rising issues and connections to transit and rail options along a 20-mile route of State Route 37 (SR 37). The 20-mile stretch of highway traverses a rural area that is vital to both rural and disadvantaged communities in the Sonoma and Napa counties.
- Suffolk County, NY Midway Crossing Project: $1 million
- The Midway Crossing project will construct a multimodal transportation hub, including connections between air and rail service, in a mixed-use commercial development space. This will include a biotech/life science office complex, 300-room hotel and 300,000 square-foot convention center.
“The new awards expand our geographic reach and increase the diversity of projects in the pipeline,” said Morteza Farajian, Executive Director, Build America Bureau. “We look forward to building on this program even more later this year with another round of available funding.”
These awards follow from the January solicitation for projects for the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Demonstration Program. The program, which was created in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and funded through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020, is designed to inform future work by measuring how different regional accelerator models can expedite development and delivery of transportation projects.
The previous RIA grant recipients are: Fresno Council of Governments, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency, Cleveland, Ohio, San Diego Association of Governments, Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Seattle, Washington. Each of the five RIAs signed cooperative agreements with the Bureau earlier this year and have established workplans to bring their proposals to fruition.
The Bureau was established as a “one-stop-shop” during the Obama Administration to help states and other project sponsors carry out infrastructure projects. The Bureau offers low-interest, long-term credit programs, technical assistance, and best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operation. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, signed by President Biden in November 2021, expands project eligibility for the Bureau’s credit programs and extends maturity of the loans, giving borrowers additional flexibility.