Today, the Department of Transportation released a notice of funding opportunity for the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Grant Program, delivered under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The IIJA appropriated a total of $1.5 billion to the Department of Transportation to this program, a 50 percent increase in available funding than the previous 2021 RAISE program.
The 2022 RAISE grant program provides funding for surface transportation infrastructure projects on a competitive basis. The program is intended to support projects that improve safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, as well as climate and sustainability. The minimum grant funding amount awarded per project is $5 million for urban projects and $1 million for rural projects (rural communities are considered those with populations under 200,000).
The RAISE program has allocated $15 million to be awarded to fund projects that are located in historically disadvantaged communities or areas of persistent poverty. Additionally, $75 million is allocated for planning, preparation, or design of projects eligible for RAISE grants that do not result in construction.
Evaluation of applications is based on a set of criteria that includes safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, state of good repair, and mobility and community connectivity. Additional criteria include factors such as partnership and collaboration, innovation, demonstrated project readiness, and cost effectiveness.
Eligible applicants of RAISE grants include states, local governments, public agencies, special purpose districts or public authorities with a transportation function, Indian tribes, and transit agencies.
Capital projects eligible for funding include:
- Highway, bridge, or other road projects
- Public transportation projects
- Passenger and freight rail transportation projects
- Port infrastructure investments
- Surface transportation components of an airport project
- Intermodal projects
- Projects to replace or rehabilitate a culvert or prevent stormwater runoff
- Projects investing in surface transportation facilities that are located on Tribal land
Planning activities eligible for funding include:
- Activities that relate to the planning, preparation, or design (e.g. environmental analysis, equity analysis, community engagement, feasibility studies, and other pre-construction activities) of eligible surface transportation capital projects and may not result in construction
- Activities that relate to the development of master plans, comprehensive plans, integrated land use and transportation plans, or corridor plans
- Planning activities related to the development of a multimodal freight corridor
- Risk assessments and planning to identify vulnerabilities and address the transportation system’s ability to withstand probable occurrence or reoccurrence of an emergency or major disaster
Applications for the RAISE grant program are due April 14, 2022 and must be submitted through Grants.gov