When it comes to infrastructure, grants can be the lifeblood of small railroads' expansion and upgrades. A new program aims to help them obtain those funds.
Three firms have been named as Preferred Providers by the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) for an inaugural program aimed at helping members take advantage of grants available through various sources.
Many U.S. Department of Transportation grant programs, such as the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements and the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD formerly known as TIGER), have been funded for fiscal year 2018, but have short windows for applicant submissions.
Bergmann, HDR, Inc., and R.L. Banks and Associates, Inc., have been selected as the first three firms for the Preferred Provider Grant Writing Center. ASLRRA says it expects to add more providers over the next several weeks. Preferred Providers commit to providing exceptional service to ASLRRA members at competitive pricing.
“The FY18 transportation appropriations bill provided unprecedented funding levels, with $1.5 billion in BUILD grants versus $500 million in FY17 and $592 million in CRISI grants versus $300 million in FY17,” said Linda Bauer Darr, president of ASLRRA. “Our new Preferred Provider Grant Writing Center will ensure that our members are well prepared to take advantage of these funding opportunities, which can be used to maintain safe track and grow services to customers or to meet the mandate to comply with [positive train control].”
According to ASLRRA, Bergmann is a progressive, full-service, multi-disciplinary engineering and architectural firm with 12 offices and 400 professionals who pride themselves on the highest level of integrity, dependability, ethics and quality of work, Bergmann has long been recognized as a trusted partner and advisor for architecture, engineering, planning and program management.
HDR, Inc. has supported over 50 projects in successful requests for federal grant programs, such as TIGER, FASTLANE and INFRA grants. Together these projects have received more than $1.5 billion in federal funds for building key transportation projects. HDR experts can help complete a grant application in its entirety, provide guidance on the application, or prepare the required benefit-cost or cost-effectiveness analysis. HDR also assists clients with the management of the contract award process, including the management of the grant in compliance with the appropriate federal regulations, and monitoring and tracking of the various grant requirements.
R.L. Banks and Associates, Inc., which has worked for more than 200 shortline and regional railroads, in every state but Hawaii, features more than 60 years of experience in providing expert analytical and communication services to a nationwide group of clients representing every principal segment of the economy: transportation, industrial firms, financial and service institutions, agriculture, public utilities, communities and government.