U.S. DOT awards $759 million in transportation grants to cities, states
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently awarded federal FASTLANE grants totaling $759 million to 18 freight- and road-related projects, but many municipalities missed out on opportunities to receive funding, Metro Magazine reports.
The grants are part of the USDOT’s Fostering Advancements in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-term Achievement of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) program, per the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. State agencies in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Virginia and Wisconsin received FASTLANE grants.
The largest of the grants, totaling $165 million, went to the Virginia Department of Transportation for construction on the I-95 Corridor, according to the committee.
“The demand for the FASTLANE program has already far exceeded expectations, receiving 212 applications for projects totaling roughly $10 billion, more than 10 times the available amount,” members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee said in a statement.
The only municipal agencies that received such grants were two Washington state cities. Seattle landed $45 million to complete its long-delayed Lander Street Overpass, according to KING-TV. The Seattle Department of Transportation and Mayor Ed Murray had applied for a federal FASTLANE grant for help in finishing the overpass, requesting $55 million in the application, The Seattle Times reports.
Additionally, Tukwila, Wash., was awarded $5 million to expand Strander Street, which crosses underneath a railway, according to the paper.
Many city and state agencies weren’t as fortunante. Notably, several local agency-submitted projects in southern California were denied FASTLANE funding, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports. The projects were submitted by the Port of Long Beach, the Port of Los Angeles and the Alameda Corridor-East Construction Authority.
“This shows a huge need for freight infrastructure here,” Sharon Neely, a transportation consultant for the Southern California Association of Governments, told the Tribune. “We are certainly surprised and disappointed that Southern California did not receive a grant.”
Other states that lost out on FASTLANE grants include Connecticut, Maryland and Tennessee, the Hartford Courant, The Baltimore Sun and the Memphis Business Journal report.