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Reserved for Energy
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (“Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” or “BIL” ) authorized and appropriated $1.5 billion to be awarded by the Department of Transportation (“DOT”) for Local and Regional Project Assistance Program Grants under National Infrastructure Investments. This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) solicits applications for projects funded under the Local and Regional Project Assistance Program, known as the RAISE Grants program. If the FY 2024 Appropriations Act provides additional funding for the RAISE grants program and/or significantly different requirements for National Infrastructure Investment funds, the Department will amend this Notice with guidance on additional requirements.
As with previous rounds, funds for the FY 2024 RAISE Transportation program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact.
The BIL mandates that DOT will award at least five percent of available funds, ($75 million of the $1.5 billion) for the planning, preparation or design of eligible projects.
The BIL specifies that not more than 50 percent of funds can be spent on projects located in a rural area with a population equal to or less than 200,000 and not more than 50 percent of funds can be spent on projects located in an urbanized area with a population of more than 200,000. Pursuant to the BIL, no more than 15 percent of the funds made available for RAISE Transportation Discretionary Grants (or $225 million) may be awarded to projects in a single State. Further, pursuant to the BIL, DOT must take measures to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of grant funds, an appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban and rural areas, and investment in a variety of transportation modes. The BIL, requires that FY 2024 RAISE funds are only available for obligation through September 30, 2028. All RAISE funds must be expended by September 30, 2033. As part of the review and selection process described in the Notice of Funding Opportunity, DOT will consider whether a project is ready to proceed with an obligation of grant funds from DOT within the statutory time provided. Under the BIL, no waiver is possible for these deadlines. The BIL allows for up to 20 percent of available funds (or $300 million) to be used by the Department to pay the subsidy and administrative costs for a project receiving credit assistance under the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act of 1998 (“TIFIA”) program, if it would further the purposes of the RAISE Transportation Discretionary Grant program. Recipients of prior RAISE, BUILD or TIGER Discretionary Grants may apply for funding to support additional phases of a project awarded funds in earlier rounds of this program. However, to be competitive, the applicant should demonstrate the extent to which the previously funded project phase has been able to meet estimated project schedules and budget, as well as the ability to realize the benefits expected for the project. DOT expects that each RAISE Transportation Discretionary Grant will be administered by one of the relevant modal administrations, pursuant to a grant agreement between the RAISE Transportation Discretionary Grant recipient and the relevant modal administration.
The BIL specifies that RAISE Transportation Discretionary Grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except that for projects located in rural areas the minimum RAISE Transportation Discretionary Grant size is $1 million. There is no minimum award size for planning projects.