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5/15/2018

TIGER Program Becomes BUILD; Administration Announces $1.5 Billion in Funding

Recently, the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)  for $1.5 billion for a new round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants under a new acronym. BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grants will replace the TIGER program.

Currently, BUILD keeps many of TIGER’s eligibilities and requirements in place, including investments in active transportation projects. Applications will be evaluated based on merit criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership, and additional non-federal revenue for future transportation infrastructure investments. The maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state, as specified in the Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations Act.

Echoing the administration’s infrastructure priorities, USDOT states that they intend to award a greater share of BUILD Transportation grant funding (at least 30 percent) to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria than to such projects in urban areas. The notice highlights rural needs in several of the evaluation criteria, including support for rural broadband deployment where it is part of an eligible transportation project.

TIGER had been one the most successful and popular programs with lawmakers, communities, and transportation planners—like landscape architects. Applications for TIGER grants far exceeded the amount of available funding. Since 2009, landscape architects and other transportation planners accessed the TIGER grant program to create innovative, multimodal transportation projects that include bicycle and pedestrian projects, transit and transit-oriented development projects, and others. As part of ASLA’s recent recommendations, “Landscape Architects Leading Community Infrastructure Design and Development,” the Society successfully urged Congress to provide robust funding for TIGER. In the Fiscal Year 2018 Appropriations Act, Congress provided an additional $1 billion for the program.

USDOT is hosting a series of webinars during the fiscal year (FY) 2018 BUILD grant application process for stakeholders, such as landscape architects, to provide technical assistance. A webinar on how to compete for BUILD Transportation Grants for all applicants will be held on Tuesday, June 5; the webinar for rural and tribal applicants will be held on Wednesday, June 6; and a webinar on how to prepare a benefit cost analysis for a BUILD application will be held on Wednesday, June 13. All webinars will take place from 2:00-4:00 p.m. EDT. Details and registration information regarding these webinars are at https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants. The department will schedule additional webinars on these topics in June.

The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2018 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 19, 2018.

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