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FASTLANE Grants - Keeping Our Economic Engines Running

by Sherie Sanders on November 7, 2016
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Sea Port in an Article About FASTLANE Grants and Transportation FundingIn 2013, an average of 55 million tons of freight per day moved through the US transportation system, with a value of more than $49.3 billion. Safe, reliable infrastructure is vital to keep the country operating smoothly. So vital, in fact, that the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law in December 2015 to improve mobility on our highways, create jobs and economic growth and promote innovation in transportation. FASTLANE grants are a direct result of the FAST Act. According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, “FASTLANE grants give us an opportunity to identify and invest strategically in those projects that are critical to keeping our nation’s economic engine running.”

FASTLANE's Goals

Among the goals of the FAST Act and Fastlane program are to:

  • Improve the safety and efficiency of transportation for both freight and people, especially in light of population growth
  • Ensure infrastructure is able to continue to provide regional economic benefits and help the US stay competitive in the international market
  • Improve interconnectivity between different modes of transportation
  • Improve the resiliency of highway infrastructure
  • Improve the roadways necessary for energy security

 

Projects Eligible for FASTLANE Grants

  • Highway freight projects carried out on the National Highway Freight Network
  • Highway or bridge projects carried out on the National Highway System, including those that improve capacity on the Interstate System in national scenic areas
  • Highway-railway grade crossings or grade separations
  • Freight projects that are intermodal with rail and water, including ports
  • Intermodal projects that improve freight movement on the National Highway Freight Network

 

2016 Recipients of FASTLANE Grants

In 2016, eighteen recipients received almost $760 million to improve highway and freight systems for both large and small projects. Here is a partial list of recipients:

  • Near the Nation's Capital, Interstate 95 will benefit from Virginia's award of $164 million for road and rail upgrades
  • The Arizona Department of Transportation secured $54 million for improvements to Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tuscon
  • $90 million for the National Park Service to repair the Arlington Memorial Bridge
  • The Georgia Port Authority netted $44 million for the Port of Savannah International Multi-Modal Connector project
  • The City of Tukwilia, WA won $5 million for the Strander Boulevard Extension and Grade Separation project
  • The Oregon International Port of Coos Bay was given $11 million for the Coos Bay Rail Line Tunnel Rehabilitation

 

Applying to the Fastlane Grant Program

Eligible applicants are state and local government, Native American tribes and consortia. A series of webinars will be held November 15-29 to provide technical assistance to applicants. The 2016 recorded webinar series is also available online at the same link. Projects must be of public benefit. Apply by December 15, 2016.

 

Building a Grant Funding Strategy for Cities and Counties

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Topics: Transportation, Infrastructure