The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) announced $1.26 million for Special Transportation Circumstances (STC) Grants to fund rail capital projects in Alaska and Wyoming.
Funding is made available by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 (2017 Appropriations) for the Terminal Wireless Communications Positive Train Control Project in Alaska and the Greater Junction Railroad Rehabilitation Project in Wyoming.
“The funding will go a long way to addressing freight and passenger rail-related capital project needs in rural communities,” said FRA Administrator Ron Batory.
The STC Grants provide directed grant funding out of the sums appropriated to the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) and Restoration and Enhancement (R&E) Grant Programs. Under the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Alaska will receive $277,400 and Wyoming will receive $985,500 for rail capital projects.
A total of $978,200 was set aside for South Dakota, but it did not submit an application for funding in response to the FY 2017 STC grants Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) announced in February 2018. South Dakota remains eligible to apply for this funding in a future NOFO. The Wyoming project eligible for the funding must be a freight rail capital project on a state rail plan that provides public benefits, and the Alaska project must also be a freight or passenger rail-related capital project.
The federal share of funding must not exceed 80% of an STC project’s total cost. The required 20% non-federal share may be composed of public sector (state or local) or private sector funding, or both.
In making the selection decisions, the factors USDOT considered included supporting economic vitality; leveraging federal funding; accounting for life-cycle costs; using innovative approaches to improve safety and expedite project delivery; and holding grant recipients accountable for achieving specific, measurable outcomes.