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U.S. Department of Transportation advances America’s infrastructure with expanded regional grants

News | October 23, 2023 | By:

The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced another step forward in advancing critical transportation infrastructure projects across the United States by expanding the Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) program to 24 accelerators receiving $24 million in new funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Administered by the Build America Bureau, the RIA program accelerates project delivery and clears barriers for credit-worthy projects by funding and encouraging best practices in project planning, studies and analysis, preliminary engineering, and design.

“We are pleased to expand the Regional Infrastructure Accelerator program to 24 regions, helping communities build capacity and get much-needed transportation projects underway,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “DOT partners with these regions to help them secure financing and develop in-house expertise for innovative delivery of regionally significant projects.” 

“Building capacity at the regional level to use innovative delivery and financing options is critical to addressing America’s infrastructure challenges,” said Build America Bureau executive director Morteza Farajian, Ph.D. “The RIA program is a novel approach that enables the bureau to help our partners deliver more good projects faster.”

The selected Fiscal Year 2023 Regional Infrastructure Accelerator awardees:


California DOT (Sacramento, California) – $2.00M

Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (Atlanta, Georgia) – $1.75M

Pacific Northwest Economic Region* (Seattle, Washington) – $2.00M

State of Louisiana Executive Office (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) – $2.00M

Montgomery County Department of Transportation (Rockville, Maryland) – $2.00M

Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (Las Vegas, Nevada) – $2.00M

Centralina Council of Governments (Charlotte, North Carolina) – $1.75M

City of Tampa (Tampa, Florida) – $1.75M

San Diego Association of Governments* (San Diego, California) – $1.75M

Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority (Seattle, Washington) – $1.75M

Fresno Council of Governments* (Fresno, California) – $1.75M

Bay Area Rapid Transit District (San Francisco, California) – $1.75M

City of Fort Lauderdale (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) – $974K

County of Bernalillo (Bernalillo, New Mexico) – $974K

*  Prior grantee receiving additional funding

These awards result from the spring solicitation for projects for the RIA program. The bureau received 21 applications requesting $66 million in funding. The program, created by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, is designed to inform future work by measuring how different regional models can expedite the development and delivery of transportation projects. The RIA program is part of the federal Thriving Communities Network, an interagency effort to coordinate technical assistance, planning and implementation support to ensure infrastructure investments funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to create long-term benefits nationwide.

The RIA program previously awarded grants in 10 regions that are already accelerating transportation projects, including:

The Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER) RIA supporting Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon communities utilized its previous $1.235 million RIA grant and hands-on technical assistance to support project development for the Pine Road highway and rail grade separation project. This resulted in successfully securing a $21.6 million RAISE grant and $1 million CRISI grant to replace the existing at-grade crossing and build a new underpass to improve safety for road users and to improve freight movement time and reliability along the BNSF railway tracks. 

The Fresno Council of Governments RIA is advancing the TradePort California Project by funding an investment proposal to the state of California for $49.7 million for site acquisition, energy fueling and charging, truck parking, logistics asset development, and solar power energy generation.

The Build America Bureau advances investment in transportation infrastructure by lending federal funds to qualified borrowers; clearing roadblocks for credit worthy projects; and encouraging best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and operations. The bureau draws on expertise across DOT to serve as the point of coordination for states, municipalities, private partners, and other project sponsors seeking federal financing.

For more information on the RIA program and to learn more about the Build America Bureau, visit the website here. For updates, subscribe to the Bureau newsletter and announcements here.

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