The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is announced the second round of the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program through a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) in the Federal Register. The INFRA program will make approximately $855-902.5 million available for projects. Additionally, the INFRA program hopes to encourage an increase in total investment by state, local, and private partners.
INFRA advances a grant program established in the FAST Act of 2015. The program will increase the impact of projects by leveraging federal grant funding and incentivizing project sponsors to pursue public-private partnerships. The new program also promotes the incorporation of innovative technology that will improve the transportation system.
USDOT will make awards under the INFRA program to both large and small projects. For large projects, the INFRA grant must be at least $25 million. For small projects, the grant must be at least $5 million. Each fiscal year, 10 percent of available funds are reserved for small projects.
The INFRA grant program preserves the statutory requirement in the FAST Act to award at least 25 percent of funding for rural projects. USDOT will consider rural projects to the greatest extent possible. For rural communities in need of funding for highway and multimodal freight projects with national or regional economic significance, INFRA is an opportunity to apply directly for financial assistance from the federal government.
USDOT is specifically focused on projects in which the local sponsor is significantly invested and is positioned to proceed rapidly to construction. In FY18, INFRA grants in the amount of nearly $1.5 billion were awarded to 26 projects.