Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Discretionary Grants
Amount: $1.5 billion available
Application due: July 19, 2018 via Grants.gov
Webinars: May 24th, May 29th, May 31st 2018
Term: Funds must be obligated within 3 years
Match: 20% non-Federal funds required (DOT may fund more than 80% of project costs in rural areas)
BUILD Transportation grants replace the pre-existing Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program. FY 2018 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.
Projects for BUILD will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership, and additional non-Federal revenue for future transportation infrastructure investments.
DOT intends to award a greater share of BUILD funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria than to such projects in urban areas. The notice highlights rural needs in several of the evaluation criteria, including support for rural broadband deployment where it is part of an eligible transportation project.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 made available $1.5 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD Transportation Discretionary grants, through September 30, 2020. For this round of BUILD grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single State. At least 30 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas.
Geographic Distribution: No more than 10% of funds (or $150 million) may be awarded to projects in a single State. Not less than 30% of the funds (or $450 million) shall be used for projects located in rural areas. Further, DOT must take measures to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of grant funds, an appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban and rural areas, and investment in a variety of transportation modes. “Rural area” as any area outside an Urbanized Area (UA) as designated by the US Census Bureau. A UA is an area that consists of densely settled territory with a population of 50,000 or more people.
State and Local Planning: A project that receives Grant funds may require approval by the Metropolitan Planning Organization or State as part of the Long Range Plans and Transportation Improvement Program (TIP)/Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP). Applicants should coordinate with the relevant planning authority to ensure that the project will be included in the appropriate plan if required before an operating administration may obligate funds to the project. If the project is not included in the relevant planning documents when the BUILD application is submitted, applicants should include with their application a certification from the appropriate planning agency that actions are underway to include the project in the relevant planning document.
Environmental Approvals: Projects should have received or have substantially completed all Federal, State and local permits and approvals, including National Environmental Policy Act (“NEPA”) analysis, at the time the application is submitted. The application should include adequate information to assess the ability to obtain any remaining environmental reviews and permitting in a time period that would allow funds to be obligated within the required timeframe.
Right-of-Way and Design: The obligation of BUILD funds for construction or other activities by an operating administration may be contingent on completion of right-of-way acquisition and final design approval, and/or additional approvals contingent on completion of right-of-way acquisition and design. Therefore, applicants should demonstrate, through their project schedule that they reasonably expect to have right-of-way acquisition and design completed, as well as any other needed approvals or pre-construction steps. Applicants should submit a reasonable schedule of when right-of-way (if applicable), design, and any other required approvals are expected to be obtained.
State, local and tribal governments, including US territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other political subdivisions of State or local governments. Multi-States or jurisdictions may submit a joint application and must identify a lead applicant.