‘Accelerators’ Grant Program Proposals Sought

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau is making available up to $5 million in grants for its Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) Demonstration Program.

Earlier this month, the Build America Bureau issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (download below) seeking applications for designating and funding RIAs that: “(1) Serve a defined geographic area; (2) act as a resource to qualified entities in the geographic area in accordance with the FAST [Fixing America’s Surface Transportation] Act; and (3) demonstrate the effectiveness of an RIA to expedite the delivery of [transportation infrastructure] projects eligible for the TIFIA [Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act] credit program.”

This is the second round of the program. In September 2021, the Build America Bureau selected the first five RIAs—Fresno, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; Cleveland, Ohio; San Diego, Calif.; and Seattle, Wash.—and distributed to them a total of $5 million in grants for infrastructure projects ranging from rail intermodal complexes to bridge rehabilitation.

The RIAs assist in “project planning, evaluating innovative financing, accessing technical assistance and best practices, and developing a pipeline of projects ready for investment,” according to the Build America Bureau, which not only administers the RIA program, but also provides technical assistance and support to grant recipients.

Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian

Added Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian: The RIAs “will identify and assist high priority projects that can take advantage of the billions of dollars available in the Bureau’s flexible, low-interest loans, providing an innovative financing mechanism to jump start transformative projects and assure they are delivered expeditiously to serve the public.”

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