The US DOT announced yesterday an opportunity for states, along with regional and local governments, to compete for $1 billion in discretionary grant funding for infrastructure projects throughout the country.

“In communities across the country, there is tremendous need for transportation projects that create high-quality jobs, improve safety, protect our environment, and generate equitable economic opportunity for all Americans,” US DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

The FY 2021 discretionary funding is available through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants. RAISE grants were formerly known as BUILD and TIGER grants, but collectively, the DOT has awarded more than almost $8.95 billion in grants to projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since 2009.

Projects will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the DOT will prioritize projects that demonstrate improvements to racial equity, reduce impacts of climate change, and create good-paying jobs.

For this round of RAISE grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $100 million can be awarded to a single State. Up to $30 million will be awarded to planning grants, including at least $10 million to areas of persistent poverty. The DOT will also award an “equitable amount” for urban and rural projects. The agency said this highly competitive program is one of only a few DOT discretionary programs for which regional and local governments can compete directly for multimodal transportation funding.

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