DOT Sends $417 Million in Road Grants to States

DOT Sends $417 Million in Road Grants to States

The Department of Transportation is sending states another $417.3 million in highway-related grants, on top of any lingering stimulus spending and TIGER grants.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said the money will aid projects from maintenance of interstate highways to research into innovative bridge materials and construction methods.
The money comes from 14 separate grant programs overseen by the Federal Highway Administration under the multi-year transportation bill, outside of funds allocated to states on a formula basis.

“At a time when states are facing serious budgetary constraints, these grants will help fill a critical need,” said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez. “Investments like these are immediate and long-lasting and will help create jobs.”

These awards come as President Obama ramps up his push to win more transportation infrastructure spending once Congress returns next month, and as the DOT’s stimulus spending fades from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The FHWA said its request for proposals triggered more than 1,800 applications asking for $13 billion in project funds. LaHood said that demand “shows just how critical the need is for infrastructure investment.” The DOT issued a detailed state-by-state list of the awards.

The administration is pushing out extra transportation money from several sources, ahead of next month’s end of its 2011 budget year. The Department of Energy issued $175 million in grants this month to improve fuel use by heavy trucks and passenger cars.

Obama unveiled a multi-agency plan to spend $510 million to jump-start advanced bio-fuels for trucks and airplanes, and the Commerce Department issued a flurry of small infrastructure development grants.

-- Contact John D. Boyd at jboyd@joc.com. Follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/jboydjoc