DOT seeks applications for $800M new FASTLANE grant program
Posted March 1, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) announced that it is soliciting applications for the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) grant program. The FASTLANE program is a new program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act to fund critical freight and highway projects across the country. The FAST Act authorizes $800 million in funding for the FASTLANE program for fiscal year 2016, with 25 percent reserved for rural projects, and 10 percent for smaller projects.
The FASTLANE grant program provides funding for projects of national or regional significance, according to the DOT. FASTLANE grants provide dedicated funding for projects that address major issues facing the nation’s highways and bridges.
The agency reports, for the first time in the DOT’s 50-year history, the program establishes broad, multiyear eligibilities for freight infrastructure, including intermodal projects.
The DOT says the FASTLANE grants will address many of the challenges outlined in the USDOT report Beyond Traffic, including increased congestion on the nation’s highways and the need for a strong multimodal transportation system to support the expected growth in freight movement both by ton and value. It is also in line with the Department’s draft National Freight Strategic Plan released in October 2015, which looks at challenges and identifies strategies to address impediments to the efficient flow of goods throughout the nation.
According to the DOT, FASTLANE grants, authorized by the FAST Act’s Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program, will fund small and large projects, based on project size, that meet statutory requirements. Large projects (equal to the lesser of $100 million or a certain specified statutory percentage of the project state’s FY 2015 apportionment) are eligible for a minimum award of $25 million. Small projects, which consist of projects below the minimum large project size threshold, are eligible for a minimum award of $5 million.
The NSFHP program is authorized at $4.5 billion through 2020. Applications for FY 2016 are due on April 14, 2016. For more information, including a schedule of webinars on the program, please visit the DOT website or view the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
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