The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) Nov. 15 for the Federal-State Partnership for State of Good Repair Program (Partnership Program).
The NOFO makes more than $272 million in grant funding available.
“It is important for rail infrastructure owners and operators to plan for the maintenance and replacement of their assets,” said FRA Administrator Ronald Batory. “The Department particularly recognizes the opportunity to reduce risk and enhance safety through this grant program.”
FRA said the funding is intended to provide financial aid to capital projects that aim to repair, replace or rehabilitate publicly-owned railroad infrastructure and to enhance intercity passenger rail performance.
Eligible projects will include work that aims to replace existing assets in-kind; replace existing assets with those that increase capacity or those that would provide a higher level of service, and those that ensure existing assets maintain service while being brought into a state of good repair, FRA said.
Applications for funding under the NOFO must be submitted here (www.Grants.gov) and are due no later than 5 p.m. EST on March 18, 2019.
The FRA said it plans to provide online training and technical assistance to answer questions from applicants leading up to the application deadline.
Funds awarded under the NOFO are not to exceed 80 percent of a project’s total cost. The required 20 percent non-Federal share may be composed of funding from the public sector or private sector, or both, FRA explained.
The administration also said selection preference will be given to projects in which Amtrak is not the sole applicant; multiple applicants submit applications jointly; the proposed federal share of total project costs does not exceed 50 percent; non-federal shares consist of funding from multiple sources, including private sources, and for those in which the applications indicate strong project readiness.
The FRA also said it will evaluate how successfully the project aligns with key departmental priorities, including bolstering economic vitality, leveraging federal funding, using innovative approaches to enhance safety and speed up project delivery, as well as holding grant recipients accountable for achieving measurable outcomes.