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Rail News: Federal Legislation & Regulation

USDOT issues call for FASTLANE grant applications

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Build America Bureau is soliciting applications for up to $850 million in grants to fund freight and highway projects.

The USDOT's request marks its second call for grant applications through the Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program. The federal FAST Act authorized the program at $4.5 billion for fiscal-years 2016 through 2020, including $850 million for FY2017, according to a USDOT press release.

The application deadline for this second call of submissions is Dec. 15.

"Across the country, there are sidelined projects that are essential to America's cities and our transportation network, and leveraging a FASTLANE grant from the Build America Bureau can move many of these projects forward," said 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."

Last month, the department announced 18 projects were selected to receive $759 million in FASTLANE funding, leveraging $3.6 billion in funding from other federal, state, local and private sources.

The FASTLANE program provides dedicated, discretionary funding for projects that address critical freight issues related to highways and bridges. It's also in line with the USDOT's draft "National Freight Strategic Plan" released in October 2015.

In its first call for FASTLANE grants, the department received 212 applications totaling $9.8 billion.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/31/2016