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Infrastructure projects across the country related to freight and passenger networks have received nearly $1 billion in federal grants, the US Department of Transportation recently announced.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants would be tools to target nearly 90 projects in 47 states as well as Washington, DC and Guam.
Since the Obama administration, these federal infrastructure grants have been sought by state and municipal agencies to support costly connectivity programs.
We’re thrilled to award nearly $1 billion to support 90 projects that help create safe, sustainable, equitable, and climate-friendly infrastructure.https://t.co/9ZyutEwkmS
— TransportationGov (@USDOT) November 19, 2021
“We are proud to support these great projects that will improve infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, make us safer, advance equity and fight climate change,” Buttigieg said Nov. 19.
“As in previous years, we received many more requests than we could fund. This cycle saw a ratio of approximately 10 to 1 between applications and available dollars. But in the future, with the passage of the president [Joe] Thanks to Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure act, we will be able to support many more infrastructure projects to support jobs and daily life in communities across the country.
Among the grant recipients was the City of Seattle. The DOT provided him with $20 million to help rebuild a 1.1-mile stretch of the East Marginal Way roadway to reduce travel time for motorists. The grant would also be used to upgrade the corridor to meet heavy-haul standards.
According to the DOT, upgrades to the highway freight system are intended to reduce supply chain bottlenecks.
Additionally, the grant will be used to add adaptive traffic lights with state-of-the-art technology for safety purposes. Ideally, the adoption of a concept of complete streets would improve the accommodation of cyclists and other users.
“With East Marginal Way badly deteriorated and congested by both freight traffic and residents impacted by the closure of the West Seattle Bridge, this project will give this critical freight corridor a much-needed facelift. It will allow East Marginal Way to handle heavy truck traffic between port terminals, SoDo [neighborhood] rail yards and businesses, and [Interstate] 5, reducing congestion in SoDo while providing a direct connection to the newly renovated Terminal 5 via the West Seattle Lower Deck,” said Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Commerce Committee Chair. The committee oversees federal freight policy.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) highlighted the recent enactment of comprehensive infrastructure legislation. “I am proud that the [$1 trillion] bipartisan infrastructure [law] continue this work by investing more in the RAISE program and the workers, businesses and communities it supports, and I will continue to push for Washington State to get the federal dollars we need.
St. Louis County in Missouri also received a RAISE grant. The DOT awarded him $18.2 million to rebuild about 1.5 miles of West Florissant Avenue, a thoroughfare in the Greater St. Louis area, from Stein Road to Ferguson Avenue, passing through Dellwood and Ferguson. . According to the DOT, the project includes a shared-use road, transit improvements, traffic signals, medians, modified property access, crosswalks and sidewalk improvements. The project will also add bus stops and pedestrian orientation, and include green spaces and landscaping.
The FY2021 RAISE grants were awarded competitively to improve local and regional mobility options, the DOT explained. The grants specifically target surface transportation projects for planning and capital investment. Qualification criteria included safety features, environmental sustainability, quality of life benefits, economic competitiveness, technological innovations and stakeholder partnerships.
The RAISE grants were previously known as BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) and TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery). On Capitol Hill, a US Senate panel has proposed spending $1.09 billion on the RAISE grant program in fiscal year 2022.
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