The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) recently published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.
BUILD Transportation grants will replace the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. As the Administration looks to enhance America’s infrastructure, FY 2018 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.
Projects for BUILD will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership, and additional non-federal revenue for future transportation infrastructure investments.
To reflect the Administration’s Infrastructure Initiative, DOT intends to award a greater share of BUILD Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria than to such projects in urban areas. The notice highlights rural needs in several of the evaluation criteria, including support for rural broadband deployment where it is part of an eligible transportation project.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 made available $1.5 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD Transportation Discretionary grants, through September 30, 2020. For this round of BUILD Transportation grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single State, as specified in the FY 2018 Appropriations Act. At least 30 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas.
To provide technical assistance to a broad array of stakeholders, DOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY 2018 BUILD grant application process. A webinar on how to compete for BUILD Transportation Grants for all applicants will be held on Thursday, May 24; a webinar for rural and tribal applicants will be held on Tuesday, May 29; and a webinar on how to prepare a benefit cost analysis for a BUILD application will be held on Thursday, May 31. All webinars will take place from 2:00-4:00 PM EDT. Details and registration information regarding these webinars will be made available at www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants. The Department will schedule additional webinars on these topics in June.
The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2018 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 19, 2018.
For more information, please visit www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants.
John LaMacchia is the Assistant Director of State and Federal Affairs for the League handling transportation, infrastructure, energy and environment issues. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 517-908-0303.