Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department of Transportation’

CRISI Grant Funding Pool is $1.4B

September 4, 2022

A notice of funding opportunity was issued last week by the U.S. Department of Transportation for Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement grants.

The agency said it plans to award $1.4 billion in CRISI funding to projects designed to improve freight- and passenger-rail infrastructure. 

In a news release, USDOT said CRISI grant funding has more than tripled due to an infusion of funding provided by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

The news release noted that CRISI grants are a major source of funding for short line freight railroads. The deadline to apply for a CRISI grant is Dec. 1.

Under terms of the IIJA, at least $376,035,000, or 25 percent of amounts appropriated, will be made available for projects in rural areas. At least $150,000,000 will be made available for capital projects in support of new intercity passenger rail service routes including alignments of existing routes.
At least $25,000,000 will be devoted to projects seeking to prevent trespassing on railroad property and to reduce associated trespasser injuries and fatalities.

COTA Land $750,000 Federal Grant

August 24, 2022

Columbus-based Central Ohio Transit Authority has won a $750,000 Regional Infrastructure Accelerators grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

It will use the money for its LinkUS Mobility Initiative for the development of high-capacity transit corridors; investments in smart mobility options such as first/mile last mile service; and enhanced bus service with increased frequency, USDOT reported.

The grant was one of five awards totaling $4.8 million awarded under the RIA program.

In a news release, USDOT said the program seeks to help accelerate transportation project delivery through project planning, studies and analysis, and preliminary engineering and design work.

This is the second round of the RIA program awards with the first five having been announced in September 2021.

In that round of funding, the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency in Cleveland received $295,000 for an intermodal facility; airport access improvement; road improvement to a healthcare facility; and a pedestrian connection.

Grant to Improve Amtrak’s Michigan Line

August 22, 2022

The Federal Railroad Administration announced last week that it has awarded more than $233 million in grants for infrastructure improvements to Amtrak routes.

The funding came from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program.

Most of the projects are located along the Northeast Corridor, but funding also will pay for projects in Michigan and California.

In Michigan up to $1.6 million was awarded for reconstruction of five deficient bridges on the state-owned rail line between Kalamazoo and Dearborn used by Amtrak’s Wolverine Service and Blue Water trains. The work will improve reliability, increase load ratings, and avoid future bridge closures.

Michigan Rail Project Gets RAISE Grant

August 12, 2022

A Michigan rail project is among 23 freight and passenger rail projects in 17 states that have received a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant.

The U.S. Department of Transportation named the grant recipients this week that will share the $2.2 billion in funding being awarded in federal fiscal year 2022.

Altogether USDOT awarded grants for 166 projects, which were evaluated for how they met the objectives of safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, partnership and collaboration, innovation, state of good repair, and mobility and community connectivity.

The Northern Michigan Rail Planning Phase II Study and Service development plan received a $1.3 million grant.

The funding is to be used to develop a plan that considers new train services through 15 counties between southeast Michigan and northern lower Michigan.

Grade Crossing Elimination Program Launched

July 1, 2022

Federal transportation officials are making more than $573 million in grant funds available as part of a new Railroad Crossing Elimination Program.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has issued a notice of funding opportunity for funding that is available in federal fiscal year 2022.

The program was created by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved last fall.

That law provides $3 billion over five years to the grade crossing program to fund grade separation projects, such as overpasses and underpasses; closures; track relocations; and improvements to or installations of warning devices at crossings, if they are related to a separation or relocation project.

USDOT said grant applications will be reviewed by the Federal Railroad Administration “based on their potential to improve safety by eliminating crossings or improving existing highway-rail grade crossings; to increase access to emergency services; to reduce emissions; to provide economic benefit; and to hire locally, among other possible community enhancements,”

Loan to Help Finance West Lake Corridor

June 20, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation has provided a $203.3 million Rehabilitation and Improvement Program loan to help fund the West Lake Corridor Project in Northwest Indiana.

The agency is building an 8-mile extension of the South Shore Line from Hammond to Dyer, Indiana.

The loan will be used to pay for about a third of the the $852 million in eligible project costs. It was issued by USDOT’s Build America Bureau to the Indiana Finance Authority on behalf of South Shore parent agency the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District.

The West Lake Corridor is being built on and along a former Monon Railroad right of way and is slated to open in 2025. It will have four new stations.

Other federal funding of the project includes a $354.6 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration.

Groups Want USDOT to Use IIJA Funds to Help Ease Supply Chain Congestion Problems

May 15, 2022

Organizations representing the transportation, manufacturing and construction industries have asked U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to use funding in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to help untangle supply chain congestion.

They sent a letter to Buttigieg requesting that USDOT “dedicate as much as allowable by law in discretionary grants for FY 2022 to support projects that will facilitate and ease the movement of goods.”

The groups want USDOT to use $18 billion for various grant programs over the next five years.

Among the signers of the letter were the Association of American Railroads, and the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association.

During a Senate hearing earlier this month Buttigieg said the proposed federal year 2023 budget for USDOT includes $36.8 billion in advance appropriations provided by the infrastructure law.

U.S. DOT HQ Named for Coleman, Mineta

May 15, 2022

President Joseph Biden has signed legislation to name the U.S. Department of Transportation’s headquarters in Washington the “William T. Coleman, Jr. and Norman Y. Mineta Federal Building.”

The naming honors two former secretaries of transportation. The building is located at 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE

Coleman served between 1975 and 1977 and was the first first African American to run the agency. He died on March 31, 2017.

Mineta, who served between 2001 and 2006, was the first Asian American to head USDOT. He died on May 3 shortly before Biden signed the bill.

Former Transportation Secretary Mineta Dies

May 5, 2022

Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta died of heart failure on Tuesday at his home in Maryland. He was 90.

A former congressman from California and the mayor of San Jose, California, Mineta was appointed as secretary of commerce during the final month of the Clinton administration.

After the election of George W. Bush as president, Mineta was named secretary of transportation and was the only Democrat to serve in Bush’s cabinet.

He went on to become the longest serving secretary of transportation in the history of the position. When he stepped down in 2006, he had served as secretary of transportation for five and a half years.

During his time as head of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Mineta promoted private investment in roads and bridges, and pushed for passage of a $286 billion highway spending plan after almost two years of wrangling with Congress.

During his time at USDOT, Mineta supervised the launch of the Transportation Security Administration, which in 2003 was moved to the Department of Homeland Security.

The first Japanese-American to serve in a federal cabinet position, Mineta during his time in Congress was a co-founder of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

He also helped to win passage of the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which required the U.S. government to apologize to and compensate the 120,000 Japanese Americans forced to live in wartime internment camps. Mineta himself spent two years of his childhood in one of those camps.

Bush awarded Mineta the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.

DOT Building May be Named for 2 Leaders

April 8, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters building in Washington may be named for two former transportation secretaries.

The U.S. Senate on April 6 passed a bill calling for the naming of the DOT building the “William T. Coleman, Jr. and Norman Y. Mineta Federal Building.”

The legislation has been sent to President Joesph Biden for his consideration. The DOT headquarters is located at 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE

Coleman served as secretary of transportation between 1975 and 19877 and was the first African American to hold the position.

Mineta was transportation secretary between 2001 and 2006 and was first Asian American to serve in the post.

The bill had bipartisan support from the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; and the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.

Coleman, who died on March 31, 2017, at one time served as legal counsel for the cities of Cincinnati and Philadelphia, and as a special counsel for Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

Mineta, a Democrat from California who served in the U.S. House from 1975 to 1995, was the longest-serving leader in USDOT history and the first cabinet member to switch directly from a Democratic Cabinet (as Secretary of Commerce under President Bill Clinton) to a Republican Cabinet (as Secretary of Transportation under President George W. Bush).