USDOT Awards $1.2B in ‘Mega’ Grants to Nine Projectseditor@aashto.org February 3, 2023 0 COMMENTS
The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded nearly $1.2 billion from its new National Infrastructure Project Assistance or “Mega” discretionary grant program to nine projects across the country.
[Above photo by the Ohio DOT]
The five-year, $5 billion Mega grant program – created by the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA, enacted in November 2021 – specifically 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.
Additionally, thanks to a new and streamlined application process, applicants for the Mega program could use the same application for two additional grant programs: the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program. USDOT issued awards two programs in September and December of 2022, respectively.
“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,” explained USDOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement.
“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,” he added.
The projects selected for Mega grants in 2023 include:
- $250 million for Brent Spence Bridge improvements. This critical freight corridor over the Ohio River. Which handles over $400 billion in freight movement annually, 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.
- $292 million for Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3, outside New York City. This Mega 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.
- $78 million for the Roosevelt Boulevard Multimodal Project in Philadelphia. Roosevelt Boulevard currently has one of the highest crash rates in Philadelphia, accounting for 14 percent 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 bicyclists.
- $150 million to replace the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge in Louisiana. The existing bridge, constructed before the Interstate Highway System came into being, 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.
- $110 million to replace North Carolina’s Alligator River Bridge. The existing bridge – a machinery-driven movable swing structure – is a critical hurricane evacuation route, yet deterioration over time has created costly delays for travelers. This Mega 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 in Mississippi. This funding will widen I-10 from four to six lanes from just west of Diamondhead – strengthening access to locations across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and major southern cities, including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston and Mobile.