Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Launches Historic Opportunity to Boost Investment in Washington’s Major Transportation Infrastructure Projects

Cantwell authored and secured $2.85 billion in funding opportunities

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, encouraged Washington state, counties, municipalities and tribes to apply for the first $2.85 billion in funding opportunities made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law for large-scale transportation infrastructure projects.

“Today’s announcement means Washington state has a real opportunity to secure historic investments in the most critical, large-scale and costly transportation infrastructure projects in our state and region. Our economic future depends upon a solid transportation infrastructure that can streamline our supply chain, move goods efficiently, and connect people to good-paying jobs,” said Cantwell.

“With demand for freight expected to grow by 40 percent in 2045, we must make investments now to ensure the United States remains competitive in the 21st century. I am glad the Administration has prioritized the release of these important grants that will help eliminate bottlenecks in the freight transportation supply chain, improve the efficient movement of goods, and lower costs for American families.”

Today, the Department of Transportation opened the application process for $2.85 billion in funding for three grant programs: the INFRA Grant Program, the Mega Project Grant Program, and the Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program. Additionally, DOT is taking steps to make the application process easier for applicants by creating a common grant application. This will allow applicants to apply to all three grant programs using a single application, reducing the burden for local governments.

  • Megaprojects Grant Program ($1 billion in FY2022): Senator Cantwell authored the new Megaprojects Grant Program to support highway, bridge, transit, passenger rail, or freight transportation projects that are critical to our economy, but are too large or complex for existing funding programs. Half of the funds are dedicated to projects costing between $100 million and $500 million and half of the funds are for projects costing over $500 million. The bipartisan infrastructure law includes $5 billion for the program over five years. Washington faces a significant need to help fund these kinds of economically significant projects, such as the I-5 Bridge Replacement Project in Vancouver and the U.S. 2 Trestle Replacement in Everett.
  • INFRA Grant Program ($1.55 billion in FY2022): Senator Cantwell authored the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Grant Program in the FAST Act of 2015, to provide grants to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects. This grant program was the first discretionary grant program to focus on improving the multimodal freight network and addressing freight bottlenecks. The bipartisan infrastructure law provides $8 billion over five years for projects that improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of moving goods and people across the country. As Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, Cantwell reformed the program to make port and other freight projects more competitive in order to improve freight congestion and lower the cost of goods for Washington families and businesses. Since the program’s creation in 2015, the State of Washington has been awarded over $243.8 million.
  • The Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program ($300 million in FY2022): The new Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program provides $2 billion to improve and expand highway, bridge, and tunnel infrastructure projects in rural areas. This is the first grant program dedicated for rural areas with a population of less than 200,000. Eligible entities include states, cities, counties, MPO’s, and tribes. Grants will be made to projects that increase connectivity, improve the safety and reliability of the movement of people and freight, generate regional economic growth, and improve quality of life. Grant funds may be used for planning, feasibility studies, environmental review, engineering, construction, rehabilitation, and other uses. Minimum grant awards for large projects are $25 million, and up to 10 percent of funds each year are set aside for small projects with a total cost of less than $25 million.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the program is HERE. Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on May 23, 2022.