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The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced $1.5 billion in RAISE grants that are due by April 14, 2022. The program, previously known as TIGER and BUILD, provides funding for a wide range of infrastructure and multimodal transportation projects with the goal of making the transportation system safer, more accessible and more sustainable for people across the country. The $1.5 billion in available funding for 2022 represents a 50 percent increase in available funds compared to last year.

Funding will be split evenly between rural and urban areas. At least $15 million in funding is guaranteed to go towards projects located in Areas of Persistent Poverty or Historically Disadvantaged Communities. RAISE expands the number of communities eligible for 100 percent federal share of funding, specifically those in rural communities, Areas of Persistent Poverty and Historically Disadvantaged Communities. The program reserves $75 million for planning and design projects.

Due to the increase in funding and increased federal share for certain projects, the 2022 RAISE grant is an excellent opportunity for local governments seeking funding for surface transportation projects.

Applications are due by April 14, 2022.

Eligible projects under RAISE

A broad range of surface transportation capital projects are considered under RAISE, with a maximum award amount of $25 million per project. Projects fall into two categories, capital projects and planning projects. Capital projects typically include construction and right-of-way acquisition, but can also include some planning and engineering activities. Planning projects typically include planning, preparation or design of projects and exclude any kind of capital investment in construction or property acquisition.

Examples of projects include:

  • Highway, bridge or other road projects
  • Public transportation projects
  • Passenger and freight rail transportation projects
  • Port infrastructure investments (including inland port infrastructure and land ports of entry)
  • Surface transportation components of an airport project
  • Intermodal projects
  • Projects to replace or rehabilitate a culvert or prevent stormwater runoff for the purpose of improving habitat for aquatic species, while advancing the goals of the RAISE program
  • Projects investing in surface transportation facilities that are located on tribal land and for which title or maintenance responsibility is vested in the federal government
  • Any other surface transportation infrastructure project that the Secretary considers to be necessary to advance the goals of the program

RAISE provides competitive advantage for communities

All communities may be eligible to apply for this competitive funding. Set the stage for success now with the following proactive steps to support community growth.

  1. Identify potential projects: Review your economic development strategy, capital improvements program and other plans. Identify high priority projects that are focused on multi-modal transportation with benefits related to safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, state of good repair, innovation, economic competitiveness and partnerships and collaboration. Create a list of two to three transportation projects that have the potential to contribute to these focus areas.
  2. Review existing project plans: Capital projects will require some preliminary engineering information, including project costs, initial designs, project timelines, etc. If a conceptual project is identified but has no preliminary designs, it may be a good candidate for a planning grant.
  3. Review RAISE grant merit criteria: RAISE has eight merit criteria which are used to evaluate the competitiveness of a project. Projects that compete well will demonstrate clear, direct and significant, local or regional impacts relative to the merit criteria using both quantitative and qualitative data.
  4. Update federal grant eligibility information: Submitting a RAISE grant application will require log-in credentials on and registration on the federal System Award Management (SAM) directory. Update this information now to be ready to apply for RAISE and other federal grants.
  5. Start analysis and narrative: The RAISE application includes the following components:
    – SF-424 form
    – Project Information Form
    – 30-page maximum Project Narrative that includes a project description, project location, sources and uses of funding and responses to the eight merit criteria
    – Project readiness environmental risk review (capital projects only)
    – Benefit-cost analysis (capital projects only)
  6. Submit application: The deadline to submit an application is April 14, 2022 at 5:00 PM EDT. Applicants are strongly encouraged to make submissions in advance of the deadline.
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