US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced $2.9 billion of funding now available for major infrastructure projects through a combined Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
The National Infrastructure Project Assistance (MEGA) program was created in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to fund major projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs. The program will provide grants on a competitive basis to support multijurisdictional or regional projects of significance that may also cut across multiple modes of transportation. Eligible projects could include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail, and public transportation projects of national and regional significance.
DOT will award 50 percent of funding to projects greater than $100 million and will allocate up $1 billion in funds over the first year. The second program, known as Infrastructure for Rebuilding America, is designed to fund smaller highway, freight, and rail construction projects. The Law provides $8 billion for that program over five years. The final portion of funding will fund the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program with funds exclusively available for rural communities. Some $300 million in grants will be available through that project in 2022.
The White House believes that the quick turnaround and streamlined application process will make it easier for state and local governments to bulk up the pipeline of “shovel-ready” projects as well as to ease supply-chain bottlenecks across the US. Though it is unlikely that any of these projects create an immediate improvement to the supply chain crunch, they should pay dividends over time.
“Under this approach and with a major infusion of new funding, we have the capacity to green-light more transformational projects that will create good-paying union jobs, grow the economy, and make our transportation system safer and more resilient.” Secretary Buttigieg said.
The deadline for applications is 11:59 pm EDT on May 23, 2022.