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TIGER grants to be replaced by new BUILDS program
Kirill Abbakumov   on Friday, May 4, 2018 at 9:00:00 am

On April 20th, 2018, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the release of a new transportation infrastructure grant program that will replace the current Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Grant program. The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program will disburse $1.5 billion for surface transportation infrastructure projects with significant local or regional impacts, including funding for roads, bridges, transit, rail or port support.

The BUILD program encourages local governments to develop a proven non-federal revenue stream for infrastructure projects. Also, the program does not allow new bond issuing to count towards this revenue goal, unless the applicant raises, or commits to raising, new funds to repay the bond. Funding can come from state, local and private sector investors, or other forms of cost-sharing such as toll credits, sales and gas tax measures and asset recycling. In addition, the funds may be used by rural areas for broadband deployment.

DOT will evaluate BUILD applications on the following criteria: safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnerships and additional non-federal revenue for infrastructure investments. The $1.5 billion will come from the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 (P.L. 115-141).

The BUILDS program coincides with the Trump administration’s plan to encourage local and state governments to put more funding into projects. However, unlike proposed funding for many of President Trump’s infrastructure priorities, the BUILDS grant program will contribute up to 80% of project costs for urban area projects and up to 100% for projects in rural communities.

As with TIGER grants, economic developers, local communities, and other stakeholders may apply directly or jointly with other local or state entities for this funding. The application deadline is July 19, 2018.