USDOT announces $1.5B available through 2023 RAISE grant program

 The U.S. Department of Transportation has published a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for $1.5 billion in grant funding through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grant program for 2023. The popular program helps communities around the country carry out projects with significant local or regional impact.

RAISE discretionary grants help project sponsors at the State and local levels, including municipalities, Tribal governments, counties, and others complete critical freight and passenger transportation infrastructure projects. The eligibility requirements of RAISE allow project sponsors to obtain funding for projects that are harder to support through other U.S. DOT grant programs.

Recent examples of funded projects include a critical bridge replacement in Tucson, new berth construction at Port Tampa Bay, a new pontoon bridge in Lafourche Parish, Louisiana, and a new snowmelt system in Berlin, New Hampshire. A full list of 2022 awarded projects can be found HERE.

“The historic investments the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing today will help communities across the country modernize their transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “After decades of underinvestment in America’s infrastructure, we are supporting projects that help people and goods get where they need to go more safely, efficiently, and affordably.”

In 2022, RAISE funded 166 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

RAISE projects are rigorously reviewed and evaluated on statutory criteria of safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, mobility and community connectivity, economic competitiveness and opportunity including tourism, state of good repair, partnership and collaboration, and innovation.

This year’s NOFO builds on the success of the RAISE program as authorized in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law by refining the rating rubric and continuing to give priority to safety, environmental sustainability, mobility and community connectivity, and quality of life.

Additionally, projects designated “Reconnecting Extra” during the new FY 2022 Reconnecting Communities Program (RCP) competition and submitted for consideration under the FY 2023 RAISE NOFO will have a greater opportunity to be advanced during the FY 2023 RAISE evaluation process, as described in the NOFO.

Half of the funding will go to projects in rural areas, and half of the funding will go to projects in urban areas. At least $15 million in funding is guaranteed to go towards projects located in Areas of Persistent Poverty or Historically Disadvantaged Communities, and projects located in these areas will be eligible for up to 100 percent federal cost share, as directed by Congress in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

As was the case last year, the Department is encouraging applicants to consider how their projects can address climate change, ensure racial equity, and remove barriers to opportunity. The Department also intends to use the RAISE program to support wealth creation and the creation of good-paying jobs with the free and fair choice to join a union, the incorporation of strong labor standards, and training and placement programs, especially registered apprenticeships.

The NOFO is available here. The deadline for applications is 11:59 PM EST on February 28, 2023 and selections will be announced no later than June 28, 2023.