U.S. DOT invests $900 million in BUILD infrastructure grants
November 13, 2019
The U.S. Department of Transportation has injected hundreds of millions of dollars into infrastructure coffers of 35 states through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) grants program.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12, Secretary Elaine Chao announced an investment of $900 million into BUILD grants. Funding will go toward 55 projects in 35 states. Half of the BUILD grant funds are for projects in rural areas. The maximum grant award is $25 million. No more than $90 million can be awarded to a single state.
According to a news release, BUILD funding supports roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.
A large investment in BUILD grants is nothing new. In fact, the U.S. DOT makes a similar investment each year. Last year, the U.S. DOT invested $1.5 billion into BUILD grants that went to every state except Hawaii.
“The Department of Transportation’s BUILD Grants program has been an effective source of federal funding for surface transportation infrastructure projects across the country,” said Jay Grimes, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s director of federal affairs. “While today’s announcement of nearly $900 million is helpful, small-business truckers know a much larger investment is needed to adequately repair and revitalize the nation’s highways. In fact, truckers lose billions each year in congestion and maintenance costs due to infrastructure shortfalls. Both Congress and the administration must prioritize greater investment in our roads and bridges, especially with the FAST Act up for renewal next year.”
Of the 35 states receiving funding, Florida will receive the most with more than $60 million in BUILD grants for three projects, approximately $20 million each.
More than two-thirds of the grants will go to road and bridge projects.
Another 15% will be for port projects. The remaining funds will go to a variety of projects, including rail and transit.
One project that is specific to trucks is the Northwest Business Corridor Truck Route Road
Improvements in Hays, Kan. According to the U.S. DOT, the project will enhance safety on U.S. 183 through central Hays, which is adding roundabouts at critical intersections to reduce speeds and potential conflict points. While the roundabouts will be able to accommodate large trucks, the BUILD project will provide a more attractive route for trucks traveling north-south along U.S. 183.
The Conley Terminal Container Storage and Freight Corridor project in Boston will move freight trucks over one block to E Street. According to the U.S. DOT, the shift “improves quality of life” by allowing “the industrial, residential and commercial uses to better co-exist.”
In Santa Fe, N.M., the U.S. 285 Safety and Resilience project will provide turning and acceleration/deceleration lanes, shoulders, bridge structures, and stronger pavement on U.S. 285 from the Texas-New Mexico state line to Loving within the Permian Basin region. Reconstructed pavement will better withstand heavy truck loadings.
For the full list of BUILD grant awards, click here.