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Move over TIGER, USDOT ready to BUILD

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, Editor, Railway Track & Structures; and Engineering Editor, Railway Age

The U.S. Department of Transportation is retiring the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program name.

It will now award the $1.5 billion available in discretionary grant funding as Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants.

The BUILD grant program has three times more in available money as recent TIGER programs and will continue to award projects on a competitive basis that have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

USDOT says to reflect the administration’s infrastructure initiative, the renamed program will have an added emphasis on projects located in rural areas. At least 30 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas. Additional parameters of the program include that a single state can be awarded no more than $150 million and a single project will not be awarded more than $25 million.

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 says projects for BUILD grants 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 provide technical assistance to a broad array of stakeholders, USDOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY 2018 BUILD grant application process. A webinar on how to compete for BUILD Transportation Grants for all applicants will be held on Thursday, May 24; a webinar for rural and tribal applicants will be held on Tuesday, May 29; and a webinar on how to prepare a benefit cost analysis for a BUILD application will be held on Thursday, May 31. All webinars will take place from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. Details and registration information regarding these webinars will be made available at https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants. The Department will schedule additional webinars on these topics in June.

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

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