WASHINGTON — Members of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC) met in the nation’s capital on Wednesday, May, 17, to discuss federal infrastructure funding and how it’s being doled out and spent.
Two years into implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), CAGTC surveyed its membership — which includes municipalities, ports and state departments of transportation — on their experiences seeking and receiving funding through the bill.
According to a CAGTC news release, two-thirds of CAGTC member respondents received funding through BIL grant programs.
The results released at the meeting showed that, despite challenges in the process, 100% of respondents will continue to seek federal funding through competitive grants. CAGTC also released the fourth edition of its Freight Can’t Wait booklet, which contains 60 freight projects from across the country that would benefit from federal grant funding.
“While the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provided historic funding for freight infrastructure projects, our work is far from over,” said Paul Anderson, CAGTC Board of Directors chairman and president and CEO of Port Tampa Bay. “We are seeking to maximize these opportunities by understanding how the programs are serving freight infrastructure developers across the country to determine what is working and what could be improved. As demonstrated in CAGTC’s Freight Can’t Wait book, our nation’s freight investment needs are immense, and this level of federal partnership must be sustained well into the future.”
CAGTC’s survey explored the process that state and local agencies undertake when seeking federal assistance for infrastructure development. According to respondents, the greatest challenges in preparing grant applications include time and expertise to develop a proposal, changes in selection criteria and inconsistency across modal agencies, among others.
Nevertheless, competitive grants are seen as very promising and essential tools for funding complex freight projects, the CAGTC noted.
“Our in-depth survey revealed a number of valuable insights that we look forward to sharing with the Administration as it continues to roll out unprecedented levels of grant funding,” said CAGTC Executive Director Elaine Nessle. “We encourage the Administration to continue supporting freight projects. Investment in the country’s freight network through competitive grant programs is necessary to ensuring that freight infrastructure can meet the demands of tomorrow.”
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