Last month, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced $2.9 billion of funding is now available for major infrastructure projects through a combined Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) under President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).
The funding opportunity combines three major discretionary grant programs – the National Infrastructure Project Assistance program (MEGA) and Surface Transportation Grant program (RURAL), both included in the BIL, and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program, an existing competitive program – into one NOFO, Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant program (MPDG), with a single application and common set of criteria. This action makes it easier for communities to apply to one, two, or three major discretionary grant opportunities, and reduces the burden for state and local applicants. A single solicitation will also help the Department get a more comprehensive view of projects in development nationwide and increases the pipeline of “shovel-worthy” projects that are now possible because of the BIL.
The Department will make awards under the three grant programs consistent with each grant program’s statutory language and will focus on supporting projects that improve safety, economic competitiveness, equity, and climate and sustainability. The three programs under this combined NOFO will continue to receive support from the Department, including the rural-focused ROUTES program team as well as the Build America Bureau.