Federal ‘mega grant’ program to fund nine infrastructure projects

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Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Ken Lund from Reno, Nevada, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

North Carolina Construction News staff writer

Nine infrastructure projects across the U.S. will share $1.2 billion, including $110 million to replace North Carolina’s Alligator River Bridge in Dare and Tyrrell Counties.

The existing bridge, a machinery-driven movable swing bridge is a critical hurricane evacuation route and is in a deteriorated condition, which causes costly delays for travelers. This award will support construction of a modern high-rise fixed-span bridge that will improve travel times and safety, for cars, bikes, and pedestrians, along a primary east-west route in northeastern North Carolina between I-95 and the Outer Banks.

“From the Hoover Dam to the Golden Gate Bridge, some infrastructure projects are so large and complex that they defy traditional funding systems—and so significant that they become iconic parts of the American landscape,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said.

“After receiving over one hundred applications, we are proud to fund these nine infrastructure megaprojects across the country to create jobs, strengthen our supply chains, expand our economy, and renew America’s built landscape.”

The program, created by President Biden’s historic infrastructure law, is for projects “too large or complex for traditional funding programs.” Eligible projects include highway, bridge, freight, port, passenger rail, and public transportation projects that are a part of one of the other project types.

A total of $5 billion will be awarded through 2026. For this application cycle specifically, the U.S. Department of Transportation received applications requesting approximately $30 billion in funding, far exceeding the $1 billion of funding available in 2022.

Applications were evaluated based on several criteria, including safety, ability to return transportation infrastructure to a state of good repair, economic benefits like the creation of quality jobs, supply chain resiliency, environmental sustainability and climate resiliency, equity, and innovation. The Department also evaluated applications based on project readiness and cost-effectiveness.

The new national infrastructure project assistance (Mega) grant program will also fund:

  • $250 million for Brent Spence Bridge improvements (Cincinnati, OH and Covington, KY), supporting critical improvements to the Brent Spence Bridge and fund the construction of a new bridge alongside the existing bridge to relieve congestion and improve travel time reliability.
  • $292 million for Hudson Yards Concrete Casing, Section 3 (New York, NY) to complete the final section of concrete casing intended to preserve future right-of-way for the new Hudson River Tunnel and lay the groundwork for the much-anticipated Gateway Project.
  • $78 million for the Roosevelt Boulevard Multimodal Project (Philadelphia, PA) to make improvements along 12 miles of the Boulevard. Jobs on the project will be prioritized for economically disadvantaged communities through the use of economic hiring preferences and the project will train new workers through registered apprenticeship.
  • $150 million to replace the I-10 Calcasieu River Bridge (Calcasieu Parish, LA): The existing bridge, constructed before the Interstate Highway System, is structurally and functionally deficient, resulting in significant freight bottlenecks.
  • $60 million to make improvements to the I-10 Freight Corridor (Diamondhead, MS) and widen I-10 from four to six lanes from just west of Diamondhead.

Click HERE for a full list of awards.

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