USDOT: $5MM for RIA Program Projects

Written by Marybeth Luczak, Executive Editor
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A total of $5 million will be awarded under the new Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) program, the U.S. Department of Transportation reported.

The RIA program’s aim is to help accelerate project delivery through project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work, according to the USDOT.

The five awards follow the Build America Bureau’s December 2020 application solicitation for “designating and funding Regional Infrastructure Accelerators (RIA) that will: 1) serve a defined geographic area; 2) act as a resource to qualified entities in the geographic area in
accordance with Section 1441 of the FAST Act; and 3) demonstrate the effectiveness of an RIA to expedite the delivery of eligible projects through the TIFIA credit program and, to the extent applicable, the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) credit program,
Private Activity Bonds (PABs) and other innovative financing methods.”

The program was created through the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and is funded through the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020.

The RIA awardees are:

Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian

• San Diego Association of Governments (San Diego, Calif.): $1.47 million for regional rail infrastructure.
• Pacific Northwest Economic Region (Seattle, Wash.): $1.235 million for rail and freight improvements; seaport emission reduction; and highway/rail grade separation.
• Fresno Council of Governments (Fresno, Calif.): $1 million for two rail intermodal complexes; roadway access and interchange improvements; and a truck mobility complex.
• Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (Chicago, Ill.): $1 million for bridge rehabilitations; ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transitions; and electric vehicle infrastructure.
• Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (Cleveland, Ohio): $295,000 for an intermodal facility; airport access improvement; road improvement to a healthcare facility; and a pedestrian connection.

“This program will help regional transportation agencies deliver projects more effectively, benefitting communities around the country,” Build America Bureau Executive Director Morteza Farajian said.

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