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