The Trump administration will spend $900 million to rebuild and repair freight and passenger transportation projects throughout the U.S. in the latest round of competitive grants.
The U.S. Department of Transportation announced Nov. 12 that 55 projects in 35 states will receive grants of up to $25 million through DOT’s Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) program. Last year, DOT awarded $1.5 billion in BUILD grants for 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia.
DOT noted that half of the 2019 round of grants are for projects located in rural areas “to reflect the Administration’s ongoing effort to rebalance historic under-investment in rural America.”
Included among the 2019 grants is $20 million for the Port of Jacksonville, Florida (Jaxport) that will be used to expand its Blount Island Marine Terminal, and $20 million to expand container storage at the Conley Terminal at the Port of Boston.
The Inland Port Arizona Improvement Project in Florence, Arizona, will receive $15.4 million. Nikola Motor Corp., in association with Saint Holdings, announced in March it had closed on the purchase of 389 acres at Inland Port Arizona in Coolidge, Arizona, to build a manufacturing facility for Nikola’s hydrogen-powered Class 8 trucks.
Also included is an $11.3 million award for a rail-truck transload facility in Spokane, Washington, and $6.5 million for road improvements on the Northwest Business Corridor Truck Route in Hays, Kansas.
Rebranded as BUILD in 2018, the grants were known as Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants under the Obama administration. Including the latest round, the program has invested over $8 billion in competitive infrastructure grants since 2009.
BUILD grants target roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation projects, whereas as DOT’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America discretionary grant program is geared toward freight highway projects.