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The U.S. Department of Transportation issued a notice of funding opportunity announcing the availability of more than $1.4 billion in funding for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement Grant.
The CRISI program, administered by the Federal Railroad Administration, supports projects designed to modernize the United States' freight and passenger rail infrastructure and allocates approximately 25% of total funds for projects in rural areas and communities, according to a Sept. 1 news release.
"Freight rail is a critical part of our supply chains, and when shipping costs come down, families pay less for goods,” DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in the release. "Today, because of President Biden's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we're thrilled to announce the biggest round of funding ever to make both passenger and freight trains across America safer, faster, and more reliable.”
The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law increases the CRISI program's funding more than threefold, according to the release. The law will also accelerate the construction of infrastructure resilience and the strengthening of the supply chain, reducing the cost of transporting goods.
The rise of new grant opportunities will also allow the FRA to invest in products dedicated to reducing passenger and freight rail congestion, as well as enhancing multimodal connections and improving and establishing new intercity passenger rail corridors, the release reported. The FRA will also be able to better fund short-line railroads, increasing the efficiency of the movement of goods in local economies. Furthermore, the grants will focus on safety projects, workforce development and training, regional planning, environmental analyses and research and deployment of railroad safety technology.
“Projects funded by these CRISI grants will generate economic opportunities and improve the travel experience in communities across America, whether urban or rural, large or small,” FRA Administrator Amit Bose said in the release. “With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s massive boost to the CRISI program, the funding made available today will help launch our country’s new rail revolution and maintain our rail network’s unmatched standards for safety and efficiency.”