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U.S. DOT releases $830M for resilience projects


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Dive Brief:

  • The U.S. DOT released $830 million Thursday for 80 projects around the country that will make surface transportation systems more resilient to extreme weather such as flooding, sea-level rise and heat waves, according to an agency press release. 
  • These grants are the first of their kind dedicated to transportation infrastructure resilience, according to the agency. The money is expected to bolster bridges, roads, ports, rail, transit and other infrastructure across 37 heavily impacted states, Washington, D.C. and the Virgin Islands.
  • This is the latest federal effort to mitigate the impacts of climate change. President Joe Biden has earmarked more than $50 billion for climate-related projects through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act, per the release. 

Dive Insight:

Extreme weather is becoming more frequent and severe due to climate change and is causing increased damage to U.S. transportation systems and supply chains, which were primarily designed before climate impacts were taken into consideration.

“From wildfires shutting down freight rail lines in California to mudslides closing down a highway in Colorado, from a drought causing the halt of barge traffic on the Mississippi River to subways being flooded in New York, extreme weather, made worse by climate change, is damaging America’s transportation infrastructure, cutting people off from getting to where they need to go, and threatening to raise the cost of goods by disrupting supply chains,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg in the release.

By increasing the resilience of the country’s transportation infrastructure, the investments are targeted at reducing short- and long-term costs by minimizing future needs for maintenance and reconstruction, according to the release.

The funding recipients include:

  • South Dakota’s Oglala Sioux Tribe will receive $60 million to improve two sections of BIA Route 33.
  • Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will receive $56.4 million to replace the 86-year-old Arc of Justice Bridge, crucial for emergency services during extreme flooding.
  • Davis, California, will get nearly $24 million to install cool pavement technologies to combat the urban heat island effect and rehabilitate the parts of the roadway.
  • Golden, Colorado, will receive $23.8 million to control flooding in Lena Gulch.
  • Philadelphia will receive $14 million to rehabilitate two deteriorating bridges over Wissahickon Creek.

The newly released money comes through the IIJA’s Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-saving Transportation discretionary grant program, which complements the PROTECT Formula funding that is already flowing to states for these types of projects.

The grants take four forms:

  • $621 million in resilience improvement funds will be granted to 36 recipients for enhancing drainage, roadways and other upgrade projects.
  • $119 million in coastal infrastructure funding will be divided among eight projects.
  • $45 million in community resilience and evacuation grants will go to 10 projects.
  • $45 million in planning grants will be split among 26 projects.



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