The new Mega Grant program, created by the President’s infrastructure law, will bring massive economic benefits to communities across the nation.
NEW YORK – Today, President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded nearly $1.2 billion from the new National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) discretionary grant program for nine projects across the country. These projects will create good-paying jobs, grow the economy, strengthen supply chains, improve mobility for residents, and make our transportation systems safer for all users.
“From the Hoover Dam to the Golden Gate Bridge, some infrastructure projects are so large and complex that they defy traditional funding systems—and so significant that they become iconic parts of the American landscape,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “After receiving over one hundred applications, we are proud to fund these nine infrastructure megaprojects across the country to create jobs, strengthen our supply chains, expand our economy, and renew America’s built landscape.”
This year’s selected projects include:
$250 million for Brent Spence Bridge improvements (Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY): This critical freight corridor over the Ohio River sees over $400 billion in freight movement annually. It is among the worst truck bottlenecks in the nation. This Mega award will support critical improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge and fund the construction of a new bridge alongside the existing bridge to relieve congestion and improve travel time reliability – supporting the regional economy.
$292 million for Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3 (New York, NY): This award will help fund the final section of concrete casing intended to preserve future right-of-way for the new Hudson River Tunnel and lay the groundwork for the much-anticipated Gateway Project. Once completed, the future Hudson Tunnel project will improve commute times, Amtrak reliability on the Northeast Corridor (NEC), and support the NEC regional economy, which is home to 17% of the U.S. population. Amtrak expects the Hudson Tunnel project will result in 72,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs during construction with union partnerships for job training.
$78 million for the Roosevelt Boulevard Multimodal Project (Philadelphia, PA): Roosevelt Boulevard currently has one of the highest crash rates in Philadelphia, accounting for 14% of all crash-related fatalities in the city. This project will make improvements along approximately 12 miles of the Boulevard to improve safety and accessibility for all users, including pedestrians and cyclists. Jobs on the project will be prioritized for economically disadvantaged communities through the use of economic hiring preferences and the project will train new workers through registered apprenticeship.
$150 million to replace the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge (Calcasieu Parish, LA): The existing bridge, constructed before the Interstate Highway System, is structurally and functionally deficient, resulting in significant freight bottlenecks. The new bridge will relieve congestion and improve regional mobility, supply chain efficiency, and safety. A workforce agreement will be created for the project that includes ways to target jobs and training opportunities to underserved communities.
$110 million to replace North Carolina’s Alligator River Bridge (Dare and Tyrrell Counties, NC): The existing bridge, a machinery-driven movable swing bridge is a critical hurricane evacuation route and is in a deteriorated condition, which causes costly delays for travelers. This award will support construction of a modern high-rise fixed-span bridge that will improve travel times and safety, for cars, bikes, and pedestrians, along a primary east-west route in northeastern North Carolina between I-95 and the Outer Banks.
$60 million to make improvements to the I-10 Freight Corridor (Diamondhead, MS): The funding will widen I-10 from four to six lanes from just west of Diamondhead. This project will strengthen access to locations across the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and major southern cities, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston and Mobile. Additionally, the project will promote future economic growth, including freight industries that also support international trade, and vitality in the region.
Click HERE for a full list of awards
The Mega grant program, created by President Biden’s historic infrastructure law, funds projects that are too large or complex for traditional funding programs. Eligible projects include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail, and public transportation projects that are a part of one of the other project types.
The Mega program will invest a total of $5 billion through 2026 to help rebuild the United States’ infrastructure for the benefit of Americans now and for generations to come. For this application cycle specifically, the U.S. Department of Transportation received applications requesting approximately $30 billion in funding, far exceeding the $1 billion of funding available in 2022.
Applications were evaluated based on several criteria, including safety, ability to return transportation infrastructure to a state of good repair, economic benefits like the creation of quality jobs, supply chain resiliency, environmental sustainability and climate resiliency, equity, and innovation. The Department also evaluated applications based on project readiness and cost-effectiveness.
Additionally, thanks to a new, streamlined application process, applicants for the Mega program were also able to use the same application for two additional grant programs: the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program (Rural) and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program (INFRA). The Department announced INFRA and Rural awards in September and December of 2022, respectively.
For more on INFRA award recipients, click HERE. For more information about the Rural project awards, click HERE. More information about the combined Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant funding opportunity and the Mega program is available HERE.
Courtesy of U.S. Department of Transportation Newsroom
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