WASHINGTON (January 29, 2024) – President Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced more than $4.9 billion in funding from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to 37 projects through two major discretionary grant programs, the National Infrastructure Project Assistance (Mega) grant program and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant program. This includes $95 million in funding for the Gila River Indian Community I-10 Project in the state of Arizona.
The Gila River Indian Community I-10 Project was selected under the INFRA program for this round.
The project will widen approximately 10 miles of I-10 in the Gila River Indian Community and Pinal County from two to three lanes, improving safety and providing needed capacity between Tucson and Phoenix. The project will also improve the SR387/SR 187/ Pinal Avenue interchanges and build a new Seed Farm Road interchange to provide access to the Gila River Farms and Sacaton, the Governance and Healthcare Center for the Gila River Indian Community. It will remove or replace the low-clearance bridges to improve clearance through the segment. Fiber-optic conduit will also be installed. The Arizona Department of Transportation commits to providing job opportunities for the Gila River Indian Community through project delivery by working with the Community’s Tribal Employment Rights Office.
“With this announcement, we are advancing projects so large, complex, and ambitious that they could not get funded under the infrastructure programs that existed before the Biden administration,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Our INFRA and Mega programs are helping build the cathedrals of American infrastructure: truly transformative projects that will change entire regions and our entire country for the better.”
The Mega program, which was created by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and provides $5 billion in funding through 2026, is focused on projects that are uniquely large, complex and difficult to fund under traditional grant programs. For this round of funding, the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in 11 different projects that will generate national and regional economic, mobility, and safety benefits.
The INFRA program, for which funding was increased more than 50% by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, also funds large scale, transformational infrastructure projects — for this round of funding the Biden-Harris Administration is investing in 28 projects that will improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of freight and people in and across rural and urban areas. Over half of the projects being funded through the INFRA program are in rural communities.
Two projects received awards from both programs, following through on the Department’s commitment to invest in non-traditional, multimodal projects that have been neglected because of complications around how to fund them.
View the full list of Mega and INFRA awards, as well as the Rural awards announced in December of 2023. Applicants for Mega, INFRA and Rural were evaluated under the Department’s streamlined Multimodal Project Discretionary Grant (MPDG) application, a combined application designed to reduce the administrative burden of applying for grants that allowed applicants to apply for all three programs with the same application.
As with last year’s awards, despite these historic increases in funding, these programs were significantly oversubscribed. The Department received 117 applications requesting $24.7 billion in Mega funding and 190 applications requesting $24.8 billion from the INFRA program, far exceeding the amounts of funding available.
Applications for the MPDG grants were evaluated based on the criteria published in the Notice of Funding Opportunity last summer. The criteria include safety; state of good repair; economic impacts, freight movements and job creation; climate change, resilience, and the environment; equity, multimodal options and quality of life; and innovation areas such as technology, project delivery, and financing. The Department also considered cost effectiveness and project readiness in evaluating the more than 300 MPDG applications received.
More information about the combined MPDG funding opportunity and Mega, INFRA, and Rural programs HERE. The next application period is expected to open in mid-2024.