First round of BUILD grants is overly positive for freight transportation infrastructure

Logistics Management |

By Jeff Berman | December 13, 2018

Freight transportation-related infrastructure projects were front and center this week in regards to funding awarded by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT)for the first round of the fiscal year 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD)discretionary grant program.

CAGTC reported that of the $1.5 billion available, freight projects, or projects with a freight component, received around $977 million, or 66%, of total BUILD dollars, with non-highway projects receiving around 20% of total funds. What’s more, CAGTC noted that this round of funding sets a new high level for the percentage of funding awarded to freight infrastructure, topping 2018’s TIGER funding, which saw 56% of total funds allocated for goods movement infrastructure.

“Competitive grant programs provide a funding opportunity for projects that are difficult to fund or do not qualify through traditional funding programs due to their complexity, size, or cost,” said Elaine Nessle, executive director of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC), in a statement. “These programs, such as BUILD, provide an invaluable tool for critical freight infrastructure projects, which are often large in scale, crossing multiple jurisdictions and modes. We applaud Congress’ recognition of these important programs by significantly increasing the program’s funding in FY18 and USDOT’s commitment to making vital freight investments.”

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