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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Program

2023 Grant Awards Announced

 

U.S. Department of Transportation Advances America’s Infrastructure with Expanded Regional Grants October 13, 2023

 

Learn more about the 24 Regional Infrastructure Accelerators

Read about the 2023 Regional Infrastructure Accelerators Summit or watch a video about the event.

 
2021 awardees update slides are also available.

 


Rim Rock (Colorado) roadwork

Background

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, enacted in December 2015, authorized the establishment of a Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) Demonstration Program to assist entities in developing improved infrastructure priorities and financing strategies for the accelerated development of a project that is eligible for funding under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) Program under Chapter 6 of Title 23, United States Code.

The Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, enacted on December 20, 2019, appropriated $5 million for this Program.

On November 29, 2023, the Bureau held the first-ever RIA Summit in College Park, Maryland. The Summit convened over 70 people, including representatives from 19 of the 21 RIA grant awardees, the Bureau, University of Maryland staff, Global Infrastructure Investor Association staff, and USDOT operating administration staff. To learn more about the event, please read the RIA Summit Summary or watch a video.


Prior webinar on program application:

Free Informational Webinar was held Monday, May 1, 2023

View the webinar slides here and WATCH it here (password pFPnm9%?)


Statutory Authority

The Regional Infrastructure Accelerator demonstration program takes its authority from the 2015 FAST Act as below:

SEC. 1441. REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE ACCELERATOR DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM.

(a) In General.--The Secretary shall establish a regional infrastructure demonstration program (referred to in this section as the "program'') to assist entities in developing improved infrastructure priorities and financing strategies for the accelerated development of a project that is eligible for funding under the TIFIA program under chapter 6 of title 23, United States Code.

(b) Designation of Regional Infrastructure Accelerators.--In carrying out the program, the Secretary may designate regional infrastructure accelerators that will--

  • (1) serve a defined geographic area; and
  • (2) act as a resource in the geographic area to qualified entities in accordance with this section.

(c) Application.--To be eligible for a designation under subsection (b), a proposed regional infrastructure accelerator shall submit to the Secretary a proposal at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require.

(d) Criteria.--In evaluating a proposal submitted under subsection (c), the Secretary shall consider--

  • (1) the need for geographic diversity among regional infrastructure accelerators; and
  • (2) the ability of the proposal to promote investment in covered infrastructure projects, which shall include a plan--
    • (A) to evaluate and promote innovative financing methods for local projects, including the use of the TIFIA program under chapter 6 of title 23, United States Code;
    • (B) to build capacity of State, local, and tribal governments to evaluate and structure projects involving the investment of private capital;
    • (C) to provide technical assistance and information on best practices with respect to financing the projects;
    • (D) to increase transparency with respect to infrastructure project analysis and using innovative financing for public infrastructure projects;
    • (E) to deploy pre-development capital programs designed to facilitate the creation of a pipeline of infrastructure projects available for investment;
    • (F) to bundle smaller-scale and rural projects into larger proposals that may be more attractive for investment; and
    • (G) to reduce transaction costs for public project sponsors.

(e) Annual Report.--Not less frequently than once each year, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report that describes the findings and effectiveness of the program.

(f) Authorization of Appropriations.--There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the program $12,000,000, of which the Secretary shall use--

  • (1) $11,750,000 for initial grants to regional infrastructure accelerators under subsection (b); and
  • (2) $250,000 for administrative costs of carrying out the program.