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USDOT launches BUILD Transportation program and announces $1.5 billion Notice of Funding Opportunity

News | April 30, 2018 | By:

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) on April 25, 2018, published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

USDOT said, BUILD Transportation grants replace the preexisting Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. As the Trump Administration looks to enhance America’s infrastructure, USDOT said, FY2018 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

“BUILD Transportation grants will help communities revitalize their surface transportation systems while also increasing support for rural areas to ensure that every region of our country benefits,” said Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

USDOT said, projects for BUILD will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership and additional non-federal revenue for future transportation infrastructure investments.

To reflect the administration’s Infrastructure Initiative, the department said, USDOT intends to award a greater share of BUILD Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria than to such projects in urban areas. The notice highlights rural needs in several of the evaluation criteria, including support for rural broadband deployment where it is part of an eligible transportation project.

USDOT said, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 made available $1.5 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD Transportation Discretionary grants, through September 30, 2020. For this round of BUILD Transportation grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state, as specified in the FY2018 Appropriations Act. At least 30 percent of funds must be awarded to projects in rural areas, USDOT said.

To provide technical assistance to a broad array of stakeholders, the department said, USDOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY2018 BUILD grant application process. A webinar on how to compete for BUILD Transportation Grants for all applicants will be held on May 24, 2018; a webinar for rural and tribal applicants will be held on May 29, 2018; and a webinar on how to prepare a benefit cost analysis for a BUILD application will be held on May 31, 2018. All webinars will take place from 2–4 p.m. EDT. Details and registration information can be found at The department will schedule additional webinars in June.

The deadline to submit an application for the FY2018 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 19, 2018, USDOT said.

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