Federal Railroad Administration issues funding opportunity for rail projects
The Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Federal Railroad Administration’s CRISI Program will provide $311.8 million to eligible rail projects that will work to improve transport safety.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has announced that it has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program.
Ronald L. Batory, Federal Railroad Administration Administrator, said: “We’re committed to addressing the unmet transportation needs of rural areas, which face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage. I encourage all eligible parties to take full advantage of this funding opportunity.”
With funding provided by the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, the CRISI programme NOFO will fund up to $311.8 million in freight and passenger rail projects that will work to improve transportation safety, efficiency and reliability, as authorised under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act.
Eligible applications for competitive selection will include projects that address congestion challenges, highway-rail grade crossings, upgrade short line or regional railroad infrastructure, relocate rail lines, improve intercity passenger rail capital assets and deploy railroad safety technology. The CRISI grant programme also directs investment to rural America, with at least 25 per cent of available funds reserved for projects in rural communities.
FRA will consider how projects support outlined key objectives, including: Enhancing economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; adopting life-cycle accounting; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grantees accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes. Preference will be given to projects where the proposed federal share of total costs does not exceed 50 per cent.
FRA may also consider: Geographic diversity; diversity in the size of the systems receiving funding; the applicant’s receipt of other competitive awards; and projects located in, or that support transportation service in, qualified opportunity zones. In addition, $45 million of the CRISI programme’s $311.8 million funding is available for projects eligible under 49 U.S.C. 22907(c)(2) that require the acquisition of rights-of-way, track or track structure to support developing new intercity passenger rail service routes.