CRISI Grant Applications Being Sought

The U.S. Department of Transportation is accepting application for this year’s Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements Program.

The Federal Railroad Administration will administer up to $311.8 million in freight and passenger rail projects that improve transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability as authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.

The FRA said in a notice to be published in the Federal Register that eligible applications for competitive selection include projects that address congestion challenges, highway-rail grade crossings, upgrade short line or regional railroad infrastructure, relocate rail lines, improve intercity passenger rail capital assets, and deploy railroad safety technology.

At least 25 percent of the CRISI grant money will be awarded to projects in rural America.

In considering the applications, the FRA said it will consider how projects support key objectives, including enhancing economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; adopting life-cycle accounting; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grantees accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes.

Preference will be given to projects in which the proposed federal share of total costs does not exceed 50 percent.

The agency said it may also consider geographic diversity; diversity in the size of the systems receiving funding; the applicant’s receipt of other competitive awards; and projects located in, or that support transportation service in, qualified opportunity zones.

Approximately $45 million will be awarded for projects that require the acquisition of rights-of-way, track, or track structure to support developing new intercity passenger rail service routes.

Applications are due on June 19. In the meantime, the FRA will offer web-based training and technical assistance for eligible applicants.

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