Revisions to Federal Transportation Project Grant Program Encourages Use of P3s
A federal grant program that provides funding for freight and highway projects throughout the country has been revised to support projects that use funding from the private sector or other nonfederal sources.
The Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program has been renamed the Infrastructure for Rebuilding American (INFRA) program, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Build America Bureau announced recently. Congress authorized FASTLANE to receive $4.5 billion over five years under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015 to provide competitive grants or credit assistance to nationally and regionally significant freight and railway projects beginning in 2016.
The INFRA program will provide approximately $710 million in FY 2017 and up to $855 million in FY 2018, according to a July 5 Federal Register notice. The INFRA program will evaluate projects using updated criteria to ensure that they meet national and regional economic vitality goals and encourage the use of nonfederal funding and innovation in the project delivery and permitting processes, including P3s. The program’s revisions could provide some insight into the approach President Trump could take in proposing a $1 trillion infrastructure funding package later this year, reported The Hill.
Each large project that is selected for funding will receive at least $25 million; each small project will receive a minimum of $5 million, and 10 percent of available funds will be reserved for small projects for each fiscal year of funding. The INFRA program preserves the FAST Act’s statutory requirement that at least 25 percent of funding be reserved for rural projects.
Projects eligible for funding include reconstruction, rehabilitation, property acquisition, environmental mitigation, equipment acquisition and operational improvements that affect system performance.
Applicants can resubmit previously submitted FASTLANE applications but must explain how these projects competitively address the INFRA grant criteria. Applications are due Nov. 2.
Somerville Promoting Municipal P3 Opportunities
The city of Somerville, Mass., plans to hold a P3 Showcase on July 20 to promote its capital infrastructure program and economic development objectives, which are intended to encourage private sector innovation and investment.
Opportunities will include projects involving city-owned properties that could complement the anticipated extension of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line subway system through the city. Somerville has enjoyed a recent surge in economic development, such as the development of Assembly Square, a mixed-use smart growth development, and hopes to pursue several other capital and economic development priorities. Full event details and access to a request for information the city has issued, which also permits firms to request one-on-one information meetings, is available on the city’s website.
The registration deadline for the event is Friday, July 7.
P3Connect 2017: Opening the Door to the New Infrastructure Era
The current administration continues to express strong interest in supporting new, effective and affordable ways to build, repair and maintain the nation’s vital transportation, water and energy infrastructure. This has drawn increased attention to the potential for P3s to serve as a highly efficient and cost-effective — albeit underused — project procurement and financing method.
P3Connect 2017, which will be held Oct. 12-13 in Miami Beach, will explore how the nation’s growing need to preserve and improve its infrastructure systems is altering the P3 landscape and what challenges and opportunities exist, all through the eyes of thought leaders who will help to chart the road ahead. Fittingly, this year’s event will be held in Miami-Dade County, a living laboratory for P3s, with several completed and planned P3 projects.
To learn more and register, visit the event website.
Denver P3Bootcamp Coming Up Next Month
NCPPP will hold its popular P3Bootcamp training course in Denver on Aug. 8-9. P3Bootcamp offers basic information for newcomers to the P3 field, but also covers current developments and insights for seasoned professionals who are looking for the latest perspectives on the ever-changing P3 landscape.
This intensive day-and-a-half course, taught by seasoned professionals who are experts in their fields, is designed to teach public- and private-sector leaders how and why successful partnerships work and proven strategies for assembling and managing highly effective projects.
For more information about P3Bootcamp, visit the course website.