U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao announces INFRA grants.  (Eileen Houlihan photo) 

By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao July 25 announced nearly $856 million in grants for state and local infrastructure projects through the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) discretionary grant program. INFRA advances a grant program established in the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST Act, surface transportation law. According to the department, the program seeks to increase the impact of this federal grant funding by leveraging state, local and private dollars for the projects, and incentivizing project sponsors to pursue innovative strategies, including public-private partnerships.

“The effect of these proposed grants are magnified by $2.3 billion in non-federal funds matched by state and local communities,” Chao said at an event at U.S. DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C. “The investment will improve safety, increase economic growth and improve the overall quality of life for all Americans.”

The awards are given to large ($25 million or greater) and small projects (at least $5 million). For each fiscal year of INFRA funds, 10 percent of available funds are reserved for small projects and at least 25 percent of funding is reserved for rural projects. This year 54 percent of projects were given to rural or small city projects.

See the full list of projects.