$830m in USDOT Grants to Strengthen Roads and Bridges

Grants for 80 infrastructure projects will be funded.

Source : Pexels

April 17, 2024

Author : Alex Bustillos

Not only has climate change taken a toll on human health and environmental calamities, as noted by the US Environmental Protection Agency, it also impacts our nation's transportation grid.

Across North America, climate change has led to more extreme draughts, increased hurricane wind speed, flooding, and storm surge levels, and more frequent and devastating wildfires.

In the last few years, we have seen how natural disasters have damaged aging and derelict infrastructure, making it difficult to undertake rescue missions and delaying the return to normalcy in the afflicted areas. 

To address these issues, the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) has set aside $830 million to fund 80 infrastructure grants. This funding will be distributed across 39 states and territories and will be used to refurbish old bridges and increase emergency routes. This money is coming from the IIJA grants, and to implement this "first of its kind" project, USDOT will partner with state, local, and tribal governments.

The grant will be distributed across 4 sectors:

  1. $45 million planning grants to 26 projects.
  2. $621 million in resilience improvement funds to 36 projects.
  3. $45 million in community resilience and evacuation grants to 10 projects.
  4. $119 million coastal infrastructure funding for 8 projects.

The incumbent President has been championing climate resilience and adaption as he seeks re-election. These grants will focus on transportation infrastructure resilience and have been made feasible by President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation (PROTECT) Discretionary Grant Program, which supplements PROTECT Formula funding.

 To strengthen America's climate resilience, President Biden secured more than $50 billion for climate resilience and adaptation through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act and a National Climate Resilience Framework that promotes locally tailored, community-driven climate resilience strategies.

The PROTECT Grant Program funds projects to strengthen the country's surface transportation system against extreme weather events, such as roads, bridges, highways, public transportation, pedestrian facilities, ports, and intercity passenger rail. By strengthening the durability of these assets, these investments will lower both short- and long-term expenditures by reducing future maintenance and rebuilding requirements.

Some of the projects that are receiving funding are:

  1. $23.8 million to Golden, Colorado to control flooding Lena Gulch.
  2. $56.4 million will be allocated to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to replace the 86-year-old Arc of Justice Bridge.
  3. $38 million will be used to upgrade stormwater infrastructure in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
  4. $750,000 will be allotted to the Rhode Island DOT for coastal management plan.
  5. $248,000 will be disbursed to the Oglala Sioux Tribe for its transportation infrastructure's risk assessment.

"We have seen far too many examples of transportation infrastructure being shut down or damaged by extreme weather, which is more extreme and more frequent in this time of climate change," Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. "America's infrastructure was not built for the climate that we have today, and the consequences of this are very real and being felt by people in every part of the country."

The full list of recipients is available here.

Category : Department of Transportation Investment in Infrastructure Bridges Freeways and Highways

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