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Nearly $1B in federal grants awarded for state DOT projects

By |  June 19, 2020
The American Society of Civil Engineers gives Missouri a C- for its bridges. Fortunately, the state agreed this year to a bond measure that will fund $301 million in repairs for more than 200 bridges across Missouri. Photo: iStock.com/tupungato

The Department of Transportation saw serious interest in the INFRA grant program, with 173 eligible applications coming in from almost every U.S. state. Photo: iStock.com/tupungato

The Trump administration intends to invest $906 million in America’s infrastructure through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), the proposed funding will be awarded to 20 projects in 20 states.

“This administration is focused on infrastructure improvements, and this $906 million in federal funding will improve major highways, bridges, ports and railroads across the country to better connect our communities, enhance safety and support economic growth,” says Elaine Chao, secretary of transportation.

According to DOT, INFRA discretionary grants create opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund infrastructure using innovative approaches to improve the processes for building significant projects, as well as increasing accountability for the projects that are built.

In addition to providing direct federal funding, the INFRA discretionary grant program aims to increase the total investment by state, local and private partners.

Demand for INFRA grants far exceeded available funds, DOT adds. The agency evaluated 173 eligible applications from 47 states, as well as U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. Applicants collectively requested about $7.4 billion in grant funds – more than eight times the funding available.

As required under the FAST Act, Congress will have 60 days to review DOT’s proposed project awardees. After the 60-day review period, DOT is free to begin obligating funding.

The full list of proposed awards is below:

• The Arkansas DOT will be awarded $40 million to reconstruct and improve two sections of U.S. 67 northeast of Little Rock.

• The Colorado DOT will be awarded $60.7 million to implement a series of safety improvements to I-70 between mile post 180 and 190 in Eagle County.

• The Delaware DOT will be awarded more than $56.8 million to construct a redesigned interchange at I-95 and State Route 896 in New Castle County.

• Port Tampa Bay in Florida will be awarded more than $19.8 million to improve capacity at Port Tampa Bay’s Hooker’s Point container facility to accommodate an additional 150,000 20-foot equivalent units annually.

• The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will be awarded $55.15 million to widen 11 miles of the Mountain Parkway from two to four lanes between the KY 191 overpass and the KY 205 interchange.

• The Louisiana DOT & Development will be awarded $135 million to construct 8.3 miles of elevated highway from Leeville Bridge to Golden Meadow.

• The Maine DOT will be awarded more than $38 million to replace seven structurally deficient bridges and make related improvements in five locations in four counties.

• The Michigan DOT will be awarded $25 million to replace and expand an existing land port of entry at the U.S.-Canada border.

• Anoka County, Minnesota will be awarded $40 million to construct two new grade-separated county highway overpasses of U.S. Highway 10/169 and the parallel freight and commuter rail line.

• The Mississippi DOT will be awarded more than $71.4 million to complete the construction of the 15.6-mile Greenville Bypass, which will carry US 82 from near the Greenville Bridge over the Mississippi River to Leland, east of Greenville.

• The Nevada DOT will be awarded $50 million to reconstruct the Tropicana Avenue and I-15 interchange with a longer and wider overpass over I-15, and construct a high-occupancy-vehicle ramp at Harmon Avenue, about half a mile to the north.

• The North Carolina DOT will be awarded $25 million to complete a series of highway improvements on the U.S. 74 corridor in southern North Carolina between Asheville and I-40 near Wilmington.

• The city of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority will be awarded more than $6.1 million to upgrade an industrial park in Inola, Oklahoma, with new structures and rail, and construct a three-mile rail spur connecting the park to the freight mainline

• The Rhode Island DOT will be awarded $65 million to complete multiple safety and state of good repair improvements to the RI-246 corridor.

• The South Carolina DOT will be awarded more than $34.5 million to construct a new interchange on I-77 near mile marker 81 to facilitate access to a 234-acre development site.

• The Tennessee DOT will be awarded $11.2 million to install about 143 miles of fiber optic communications and deploy ITS devices on I-40 between Memphis and Nashville.

• The Port of Houston Authority in Texas will be awarded more than $79.4 million to restore and strengthen about 2,700 linear ft. of wharf and upgrade about 84 acres of yard space at the Barbours Cut Container Terminal.

• The Washington State DOT will be awarded more than $73.6 million to complete 12 miles of highway projects in the Puget Sound region, including the SR 509 Completion Project, the SR 167 Completion Project, improvements to I-5 and improved connectivity to I-90.

• The West Virginia DOT will be awarded $12 million to construct 3.1 miles of grade and drain pavement improvements on Corridor H from US 219 to the WV 72 interchange.

• The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be awarded $6.75 million to complete the last phase of the Merrimac Bridge rehabilitation to accommodate 286,000-pound railcars at 25 miles per hour on the Wisconsin and Southern Railroad’s freight rail bridge over Lake Wisconsin.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry magazine. Yanik can be reached at 216-706-3724 or kyanik@northcoastmedia.net.

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