By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

Forget the “March Madness” brackets. The March 31 submission deadline is nearing for ARTBA member CASE Construction Equipment’s 2019 “Dire States Equipment Grant. The winner will be announced in April.

Now in its fourth year, the grant provides $25,000 in construction equipment use to one selected community to repair or build a critical piece of local infrastructure. Representatives of city or local governments are eligible to apply. Entrants need to provide a detailed assessment of how the infrastructure will benefit the community.

Originally launched during Infrastructure Week’s Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in 2016, the grant is named for CASE’s infrastructure awareness and advocacy initiative, Dire States, which has evolved from raising awareness of America’s ailing infrastructure into active campaigning for specific programs and legislation. Information on past winners, including examples of suitable infrastructure projects, are available on the grant website.

The 2018 winner was Surrey, North Dakota, which used the grant for rainwater runoff and roadway drainage work.

CASE and its Dire States campaign are leaders in ARTBA’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (TIAC) and its “Transportation Investment Advocates Council”, a national network of more than 70 business professionals and public officials who share a common interest in building support for transportation infrastructure investments in their state or local community.