Aug 15, 2022
USDOT Issues More Than $2B In New RAISE Grants
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded more than $2.2 billion in grants from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity or RAISE program to help urban and rural communities move forward on projects that modernize roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports, and intermodal transportation systems.
Formerly known as the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development or BUILD program under the Trump administration and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER program during the Obama administration, RAISE program allocations for 2022 top $2.2 billion due to extra funding from the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA, according to USDOT.
Enacted in November 2021, the IIJA provides an additional $7.5 billion over five years to the RAISE program, it noted.
The agency said in a statement that it evaluated projects receiving RAISE grants on several criteria, including safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness and opportunity, collaboration, innovation, state of good repair, and mobility and community connectivity.
Within those areas, USDOT also considered how projects would improve accessibility for all travelers, bolster supply chain efficiency, support racial equity, and bolster economic growth – especially in historically disadvantaged communities and areas of persistent poverty.
USDOT also noted that it designates 50 percent of its RAISE grant funding for projects in rural areas, with 50 percent designated for projects in urban areas. Additionally, nearly two-thirds of projects funded by this round of RAISE grants are located in areas of persistent poverty or historically disadvantaged communities with 11 of them including a local hire provision, the agency said.
USDOT added that several projects funded by the RAISE grants also include workforce development aspects including four projects that have project labor agreements, eight projects that have registered apprenticeship programs and an additional eight projects with other workforce development provisions.