IMPORTANT: FASTLANE Freight Grant Applications Due April 14; information on eligibility and application procedures:
We met with USDOT officials last week, and learned that they anticipate more applications will be submitted for the TIGER grants that are due a couple of weeks later. USDOT officials believe the deadline and new nature of the FASTLANE grants means there will not be as much competition for them.
Since the Texas Freight Plan has identified a number of projects connecting Ports of Entry, a lot of the details on projects may be readily available, making is easier for border communities to complete their applications by the deadline. The FASTLANE grants may not exceed 60% of the total eligible project costs, and an additional 20% of project costs may be funded with other Federal assistance, bringing total Federal participation in the project to a maximum of 80%.
Eligible projects include:
- A highway freight project on the National Highway Freight Network;
- A highway or bridge project on the National Highway System, including:
- A project to add capacity to the Interstate System to improve mobility;
- A project in a national scenic area;
- A freight project that is:
- A freight intermodal or freight rail project; or
- A project within the boundaries of a public or private freight rail, water (including ports), or intermodal facility and that is a surface transportation infrastructure project necessary to facilitate direct intermodal interchange, transfer, or access into or out of the facility,
- Provided that the project will make a significant improvement to freight movements on the National Highway Freight Network, that the Federal share of non-highway portions of the project funds only elements of the project that provide public benefits, and that the total of Federal FASTLANE grants for non-highway portions of these projects does not exceed $500 million for fiscal years 2016 through 2020; or
- A railway-highway grade crossing or grade separation project. [23 U.S.C. 117(d)]
Eligible project costs include:
- Development phase activities, including planning, feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, preliminary engineering and design work, and other pre-construction activities; and
- Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition of real property (including land related to the project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, construction contingencies, acquisition of equipment, and operational improvements directly related to improving system performance. . [23 U.S.C. 117(f)]
Eligible applicants include local governments or a political subdivision of a State or local government; a special purpose district or public authority with a transportation function, including a port authority.
The FASTLANE Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) describes the application process and provides additional information on how applications are evaluated.
We encourage border communities to take advantage of this grant funding opportunity to improve transportation infrastructure in the border region.