The Department of Transportation (DOT) is retooling an existing grant program to focus on projects that use funding from the private sector or other non-federal sources, as well as projects that address rural infrastructure needs, according to a release obtained by The Hill.
The agency will send a notice to the Federal Register on Thursday about the planned revisions, which offer a glimpse of how President Trump may tackle his $1 trillion infrastructure package later this year.
The FASTLANE grant program, which was established by the last highway bill to help fund freight and highway projects around the country, will now be called the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) program. It was authorized by Congress to receive $4.5 billion over five years, beginning in 2016.
In addition to the name change, the INFRA program’s selection criteria and goals have also been “substantially” revised, according to a fact sheet obtained by The Hill, which claims that the current system has not been working. It will seek to hold recipients more accountable by ensuring grant funding actually goes towards the specific project that was supposed to receive the funding.
The revamped grant program will now place an emphasis on projects that leverage non-federal funding — which could include money from the private sector, states or cities — and projects that use innovative approaches to permitting and project delivery.
New projects will have access to $1.5 billion in grants under the new criterial.
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