U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg has announced that he U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1 billion in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 discretionary grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) grants.
RAISE, formerly known as BUILD and TIGER, has awarded over $8.935 billion in grants to projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico since 2009.
How much, if any, of the $1 billion in funding announced thus week will go to the maritime sector remains to be seen. Historically, however. maritime projects have succeeded in getting support under the previous BUILD and TIGER programs.
Last year, for example, America’s Central Port District got a $20.8 million BUILD grant, while the New Orleans RTA’s new Canal Street ferry terminal was built with support that included TIGER grant funding.
“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,” said Buttigieg. “With RAISE grants, we are making those needed investments in our communities’ future.”
Projects for RAISE funding will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnership. Within these criteria, the Department will prioritize projects that can 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, as specified in the appropriations act. Up to $30 million will be awarded to planning grants, including at least $10 million to Areas of Persistent Poverty.
To ensure that the benefits of infrastructure investments benefit communities large and small the Department will award an equitable amount, not to exceed half of funding, to projects located in urban and rural areas respectively.
The program is highly competitive with 680 projects funded out of over 9700 applications. It is one of the few DOT discretionary programs for which regional and local governments can directly compete for multimodal transportation funding.
To provide technical assistance to prospective applicants, DOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY 2021 RAISE grant application process.
The deadline to submit an application is July 12, 2021 at 5.00 pm Eastern.