The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program that includes more than $318 million in grant funding from the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018.
“The Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure & Safety Improvements grant program seeks to collaborate with private, state and local investments to boost much-needed rail projects across the country, and we hope interested parties will apply by the stated deadline,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
This NOFO will assist in funding projects that improve intercity passenger and freight rail transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability. Funding for positive train control (PTC) systems deployment—$250 million—was provided under a separate NOFO published in May 2018.
The CRISI grant program directs much needed critical investment to rural America. By directing at least 25 percent of available funds towards rural communities, the Department is able to safely connect and upgrade rural America’s rail infrastructure.
In addition, selection preference will be given to projects with a 50-percent non-federal funding match from any combination of private, state, or local funds. The Department will also consider how well the project aligns with key Departmental objectives including supporting economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; preparing for life-cycle costs; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes.
“These CRISI grants will help make rail systems safer and more efficient for local communities throughout the country,” said FRA Administrator Ronald L. Batory.
The FRA will host webinars on August 8, 2018, to aid eligible entities seeking funding. Those interested in participating can register at https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P1117 , and FRA encourages participants to submit questions in advance. Applications for capital projects funding under this solicitation are due no later than 5:00 p.m. EDT, up to 60 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. To view the NOFO, visit https://www.fra.dot.gov/Page/P1120 . Following the publication of the NOFO in the Federal Register, FRA plans to provide web-based training and technical assistance to applicants to address questions.
(Source: US DoT)