Inaugural FASTLANE Grants to Support Transportation Infrastructure
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has announced 18 infrastructure projects across the country that will receive federal grants as part of the new Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program.
The grants, totaling $800 million, will be combined with other funding from federal, state, local, and private sources to support $3.6 billion in infrastructure investment in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
“The FAST Act gave us a set of tools to begin addressing America’s infrastructure deficit, and we have been moving full speed ahead to get critical road, rail, and port projects off the ground across the country,” said Foxx. “From eliminating traffic bottlenecks and enhancing port capacity to overhauling a major freight corridor, the 18 inaugural FASTLANE grants will enable people and goods to move more efficiently.”
Among the FASTLANE awards, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation will be awarded $62 million to improve safety and efficiency of high volume freight traffic along the US 69/75 corridor in southern Oklahoma. The Arizona Department of Transportation will be awarded $54 million for bottleneck improvements along I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson.
The Maine Department of Transportation will be awarded $7 million to improve the infrastructure, equipment, and technology at the Port of Portland. With improvements to the access and connectivity, the port upgrades will replace truck shipments from Canada.
The FASTLANE grant program was established as part of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act and is administered by the newly-launched Build America Bureau at the Department of Transportation. The bureau will drive transportation infrastructure development projects in the U.S. by streamlining credit and grant opportunities while providing technical assistance and encouraging innovative best practices in project planning, financing, delivery, and monitoring.
“The Build America Bureau brings together FASTLANE grants, credit programs like TIFIA [the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act] and technical support into a one-stop-shop designed to get infrastructure projects funded and built,” said Andrew Right, acting director of the Build America Bureau.
FASTLANE grant recipients were selected through a thorough review process at the Department of Transportation to identify projects that will have significant regional and national impacts by reducing congestion, expanding capacity, using innovative technology, improving safety, or moving freight more efficiently.
FASTLANE grants will address many of the challenges outlined in the USDOT report “Beyond Traffic,” including increased congestion on the nation’s highways and the need for a strong multimodal transportation system to support the expected growth in freight movement both by ton and value.