Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department of Transportation’

Port of Cleveland Wins $3M USDOT Grant

December 29, 2021

The Port of Cleveland will receive a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

A USDOT fact sheet said the port will use the funding to conduct a comprehensive planning study that will address cargo handling, environmental, and economic development needs, in addition to regional-level planning goals.

The six components of the study will include a market analysis, a terminal capacity analysis, an intermodal connection assessment, a plan for port de-carbonization, a coastal resilience plan, and a regional-level cargo capability study.

The port is overseen by the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority.

The Cleveland port is one of 25 receiving grants from the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program

A USDOT news release said the ports are sharing $241 million in grant funding for fiscal year 2021.

The three-year-old PIDP program providing grants to port facility for freight infrastructure improvements that boost capacity and efficiency.

Other ports receiving grants are located in Indiana, Kentucky and Michigan.

Tell City, Indiana, will receive $1.6 million for the Ohio River Pier Project to fund fund construction of a 40-foot diameter pier for a crane that will be used for direct barge-to-truck unloading of cargo. The pier design will allow the crane to operate regardless of water levels.

In Paducah, Kentucky, the Bulk Yard Infrastructure Revitalization and Expansion Project will receive $3,3 million for several related infrastructure improvements at the port.

The improvements modernize the port’s material handling equipment, repair damaged facilities, and upgrade site conditions in the port’s Bulk Yard.

In Alpena, Michigan, $3.7 million was awarded to the city which is partnering with Lafarge Alpena to upgrade and modernize that company’s port and landside shipping facilities to meet the increasing demand for the plant’s construction products.

Project improvements include berth dredging to increase the water depths within the port basin to satisfy larger vessels, stone dock demolition to increase the overall area for vessels to access the site, new mooring dolphins, the addition of a roof for a storage building, demolition of a storage building, and maritime security upgrades.

In Marquette, Michigan, $1.6 million was awarded for a project to improve  port infrastructure, dredge encroaching sediment to protect port infrastructure, and deposit dredge materials on shore to enhance coastal restoration and protect road infrastructure at the Port of Marquette.

GAO Calls for More Clarity on TOD Decisions

December 8, 2021

The U.S. Department of Transportation needs to do a better job of evaluating proposals for transit-oriented projects, the U.S. Government Accountability Office has concluded.

GAO recommended that the USDOT’s Build America Bureau better document its decisions and follow procedures when reviewing TOD projects.

The agency also called on the Federal Transit Administration to develop a plan to evaluate its pilot program.

TOD projects typically seek to encourage the development of housing and businesses along transit lines as a way of increasing ridership.

In its investigation, the GAO noted that two federal financing programs administered by the Build America Bureau involve TOD projects.

The bureau has not approved financing for any TOD projects since 2016 and failed to clearly document its eligibility decisions, the GAO’s report said.

GAO said that without a clearly documented rationale for eligibility decisions and procedures for making decisions, project sponsors lack reasonable assurance that the bureau is reviewing projects consistently.  The USDOT concurred with the GAO’s recommendations.

RAISE Grants to Benefit Regional Rail Projects

November 23, 2021

Projects in Ohio, Detroit and Philadelphia will receive a share of nearly $1 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation Rebuilding American Infrastructure With Sustainability and Equity grants.

The Michigan Department of Transportation will receive $10 million to be used for the New Center Intermodal Facility Project.

Project plans include a new station to serve Amtrak trains and local and intercity buses that will replace an existing depot in the New Center neighborhood of Detroit.

The new facility will comply with Americans with Disabilities standards and have a multi-level parking garage.

It will be located on the south side of the Canadian National tracks used by Amtrak’s Chicago-Detroit (Pontiac) Wolverine Service trains.

The existing boarding platform at the site will be lengthened and rehabilitated. The boarding platform will be connected to the new station by a tunnel.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority will receive $15 million to improve the 19th Street and 37th Street trolley subway stations.

That work is part of a larger trolley modernization program. The RAISE Grant will be used to bring both stations into compliance with ADA standards, rehabilitate boarding areas and conduct other renovations to station facilities.

The Maumee Watershed Conservancy District of Findlay will receive $7.1 million for replacement of a bridge carrying Norfolk Southern tracks over the Blanchard River.

The new bridge will be a three-span, through plate girder structure with a ballast deck.

RAISE grants are one of the few USDOT discretionary programs that allow regional and local governments to directly compete for multimodal transportation funding.

The funding provide are to be used for “planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact,” USDOT said in a news release.

The maximum grant award is $25 million with no more than $100 million being awarded to a single state.

USDOT Fact Sheet Details IIJA Affect on Ohio

November 20, 2021

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued fact sheets that detail how the recently enacted Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will affect all 50 states.

The bill provides $1.2 trillion to fund such things as road and bridge repairs; upgrading airports and seaports, providing grants for rail projects, and building a national network of chargers to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles.

In a news release, USDOT said the IIJA includes nearly $550 billion in new spending for infrastructure projects.

Based on funding formulas, Ohio is expected to receive approximately $9.8 billion over five
years for highways and bridges funding.

Over the same period, the state is expected to receive approximately $61 million in 402 formula funding for highway safety traffic programs and approximately $78.2 million to augment commercial motor  vehicle safety efforts.

Public transit agencies in Ohio are expected to receive about $1.4 billion to improve public transportation options.

The fact sheets can be accessed at https://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/usdot-releases-state-state-fact-sheets-highlighting-benefits-bipartisan

2 Ohio Projects Receive Infrastructure Grants

September 22, 2021

Two Ohio projects will receive special consideration from the U.S. Department of Transportation Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program.

The projects are eligible to apply for credit assistance for up to 49 percent of costs.

The projects are City of Cincinnati, Western Hills Viaduct Replacement Project; and Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Route 7 grade crossing improvement.

Also designated was the Indiana Department of Transportation for the U.S. Route 36 Modern Rockville Road Project.

In a news release, USDOT said the Ohio and Indiana projects were among 44 projects that made it to the final round for funding under the 2021 INFRA competitive grant program, but were not awarded due to a combination of overwhelming demand for INFRA grants and limited funds.

Instead they will be designated as INFRA Extra projects and eligible to receive a Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act credit.

USDOT received eligible INFRA applications from 42 states and Guam seeking a collective $6.8 billion in grant funds. That was nearly seven times more than the $1 billion available.

NOACA Lands Federal Grant

September 21, 2021

The Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency has received a $295,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Regional Infrastructure Accelerators program.

The funding will be used for project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work.

In news release, USDOT said the work in Northeast Ohio will include for an intermodal facility, airport access improvement, an improved road to a health care facility and a pedestrian connection.

No other details were provided. The grant was one of five announced by USDOT.

The news release said the program seeks to accelerate project delivery through a variety of ways, including project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work.

USDOT Seeking Comment on Supply Chain Challenges

September 20, 2021

Public comment is being sought by the U.S. Department of Transportation on supply-chain challenges in the port, rail and trucking sectors.

The comments are being sought by the Supply Chain Disruptions Task Force, which was established by the Biden administration and  co-chaired by the secretaries of transportation, agriculture and commerce.

USDOT plans to compile a report on the nation’s freight and logistics sector that will be focused on how the freight system supports the supply chains and any challenges and resilience issues within that system, according to the notice.

Public comments are due by Oct. 18.

House Budget Bill Boosts Transportation Spending

July 20, 2021

The House Appropriations Committee last week approved a spending bill for fiscal year 2022 that would boost spending on transportation programs over FY2021 levels.

The bill, known as the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies legislation provides an increase of $1.9 billion for the U.S. Department of Transportation.

USDOT is allocated $105.7 billion in budgetary resources, a 22 percent increase above the FY2021 enacted level ($86.7 billion) and the President Joseph Biden’s FY2022 budget request of $87 billion.

Among the spending levels authorized for transportation programs are:

• $1.2 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, a 20 percent increase from FY 2021. It includes $20 million for Transportation Planning Grants to assist areas of persistent poverty, a 100 percent increase over FY 2021. An additional $100 million is included for a new grant program to “spur thriving communities nationwide.”

•$4.1 billion for the Federal Railroad Administration, up 46 percent from FY 2021. This includes $625 million for the new Passenger Rail Improvement, Modernization, and Expansion (PRIME) grant program “to support projects that improve, expand or establish passenger rail service”; $500 million for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) grant program, a 33 percent increase from FY 2021; $2.7 billion for Amtrak, a 35 percent boost over FY 2021, which includes $1.2 billion for Northeast Corridor Grants and $1.5 billion for National Network Grants.

• $15.5 billion for the Federal Transit Administration, including $12.2 billion for Transit Formula Grants to expand bus fleets and increase the transit state of good repair; $2.5 billion for Capital Investment Grants to construct more than 23 new transit routes nationwide, a 22 percent increase above the FY 2021 enacted level and equal to the president’s budget request; and $580 million for Transit Infrastructure Grants to purchase more than 300 zero-emission buses and 400 diesel buses, and to support “transformative research for transit systems,” which is a 12 percent increase above FY 2021.

Stimulus Money Conveyed to Amtrak

April 28, 2021

The U.S. Department of Transportation said this week that it has conveyed to Amtrak $1.69 billion in economic stimulus funds authorized by the American Rescue Act of 2021.

The funding includes $728.6 million for Amtrak’s long distance and regional trains outside the Northeast Corridor.

Amtrak was directed by Congress to allocate $174 million of that total to offset what the carrier charges states for corridor services.

However, the law does not require states to restore their Amtrak corridor services to pre-pandemic levels.

Most states reduced their corridor services during the COVID-19 pandemic due to a plunge in ridership.

Several states have begun restoring suspended services but others have yet to announce their plans.

Among the routes yet to be fully restored is the Wolverine Service between Chicago and Detroit (Pontiac).

The route had three roundtrips pre-pandemic, but since March 2020 the level of service has been a single daily roundtrip.

Some Illinois and Missouri routes also continued to operate below pre-pandemic levels.

The directive also mandated that Amtrak return long-distance service to daily operation if they operated as such before last year.

Amtrak has said daily operation will be phased in over a three-weekly period beginning May 24.

The Northeast Corridor will receive $969.4 million of which $109.8 million will go to states and commuter railroads to cover their share of capital costs Amtrak charges them for using the Northeast Corridor.

Another $100.8 million will be used for debt relief that Amtrak incurred before the legislation was adopted on March 11.

Bose Nominated as FRA Administrator

April 24, 2021

Amit Bose will be nominated to be the administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration.

Bose is currently deputy Federal Railroad Administrator and has had a two-decade career in public agency positions related to transportation.

He also once served the FRA as chief counsel and a senior adviser, helping to oversee the implementation of positive train control systems.

Bose also worked for the U.S. Department of Transportation as associate general counsel and deputy assistant secretary for governmental affairs.

Before that he worked for New Jersey Transit, the New Jersey Department of Transportation and as a congressional staff member.

He earned a AB from Columbia College, an MIA from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, and a JD from the University of Georgia.

The Biden administration also plans to nominate Carlos Monje Jr. as under secretary of transportation for policy.