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Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Department of Transportation's Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA Grants) for Fiscal Year 2020; Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Program FY 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Department of Transportation's Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (INFRA Grants) for Fiscal Year 2020; Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) Program FY 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity

Elaine L. Chao
U.S. Department of Transportation
22 January 2020


[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 14 (Wednesday, January 22, 2020)]
[Notices]
[Pages 3745-3759]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-00925]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Office of the Secretary


Notice of Funding Opportunity for the Department of 
Transportation's Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects 
(INFRA Grants) for Fiscal Year 2020; Infrastructure for Rebuilding 
America (INFRA) Program FY 2020 Notice of Funding Opportunity

AGENCY: Office of the Secretary of Transportation, U.S. Department of 
Transportation (USDOT).

ACTION: Notice of funding opportunity.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects 
(NSFHP) program provides Federal financial assistance to highway and 
freight projects of national or regional significance. In 2017, the 
Department renamed this program the Infrastructure For Rebuilding 
America program (INFRA). This notice solicits applications for awards 
under the program's fiscal year (FY) 2020 funding, subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.

DATES: Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST on February 25, 
2020. The Grants.gov ``Apply'' function will open by January 15, 2020.

ADDRESSES: Applications must be submitted through www.Grants.gov. Only 
applicants who comply with all submission requirements described in 
this notice and submit applications through www.Grants.gov will be 
eligible for award.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information regarding this 
notice, please contact the Office of the Secretary via email at 
INFRAgrants@dot.gov, or call Paul Baumer at (202) 366-1092. A TDD is 
available for individuals who are deaf or hard of

[[Page 3746]]

hearing at 202-366-3993. In addition, up to the application deadline, 
the Department will post answers to common questions and requests for 
clarifications on USDOT's website at https://www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/INFRAgrants.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The organization of this notice is based on 
an outline set in 2 CFR part 200 to ensure consistency across Federal 
financial assistance programs. However, that format is designed for 
locating specific information, not for linear reading. For readers 
seeking to familiarize themselves with the INFRA program, the 
Department encourages them to begin with Section A (Program 
Description), which describes the Department's goals for the INFRA 
program and purpose in making awards, and Section E (Application Review 
Information), which describes how the Department will select among 
eligible applications. Those two sections will provide appropriate 
context for the remainder of the notice: Section B (Federal Award 
Information) describes information about the size and nature of awards; 
Section C (Eligibility Information) describes eligibility requirements 
for applicants and projects; Section D (Application and Submission 
Information) describes in detail how to apply for an award; Section F 
(Federal Award Administration Information) describes administrative 
requirements that will accompany awards; and Sections G (Federal 
Awarding Agency Contacts) and H (Other Information) provide additional 
administrative information.

Table of Contents

A. Program Description
    1. Overview
    2. Key Program Objectives
    3. Changes From the FY 2019 NOFO
B. Federal Award Information
    1. Amount Available
    2. Restrictions on Award Portfolio
C. Eligibility Information
    1. Eligible Applicants
    2. Cost Sharing or Matching
    3. Other
D. Application and Submission Information
    1. Address
    2. Content and Form of Application
    3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management 
(SAM)
    4. Submission Dates and Timelines
E. Application Review Information
    1. Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process
    3. Additional Information
F. Federal Award Administration Information
    1. Federal Award Notices
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    3. Reporting
G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts
H. Other Information
    1. Protection of Confidential Business Information
    2. Publication of Application Information

A. Program Description

1. Overview

    The INFRA program provides Federal financial assistance to highway 
and freight projects of national or regional significance. To maximize 
the value of FY 2020 INFRA funds for all Americans, the Department is 
focusing the competition on transportation infrastructure projects that 
support four key objectives, each of which is discussed in greater 
detail in section A.2:
    (1) Supporting economic vitality at the national and regional 
level;
    (2) Leveraging Federal funding to attract non-Federal sources of 
infrastructure investment;
    (3) Deploying innovative technology, encouraging innovative 
approaches to project delivery, and incentivizing the use of innovative 
financing; and
    (4) Holding grant recipients accountable for their performance.
    This notice's focus on the four key objectives does not supplant 
the Department's focus on safety as our top priority. The Department is 
committed to reducing fatalities and serious injuries on the surface 
transportation system. To reinforce the Department's safety priority, 
the USDOT will require projects that receive INFRA awards to consider 
and effectively respond to data-driven transportation safety concerns. 
Section F.2.a describes related requirements that the Department will 
impose on each INFRA project. These requirements focus on performing 
detailed, data-driven safety analyses and incorporating project 
elements that respond to State-specific safety priority areas.

2. Key Program Objectives

    This section of the notice describes the four key program 
objectives that the Department intends to advance with FY 2020 INFRA 
funds. These four objectives are reflected in later portions of the 
notice, including section E.1, which describes how the Department will 
evaluate applications to advance these objectives, and section D.2.b, 
which describes how applicants should address the four objectives in 
their applications.
a. Key Program Objective #1: Supporting Economic Vitality
    A strong transportation network is critical to the functioning and 
growth of the American economy. The nation's industry depends on the 
transportation network to move the goods that it produces, and 
facilitate the movements of the workers who are responsible for that 
production. When the nation's highways, railways, and ports function 
well, that infrastructure connects people to jobs, increases the 
efficiency of delivering goods and thereby cuts the costs of doing 
business, reduces the burden of commuting, and improves overall well-
being.
    Rural transportation networks play a vital role in supporting our 
national economic vitality. Addressing the deteriorating conditions and 
elevated fatality rates on our rural transportation infrastructure is 
of critical interest to the Department, as rural transportation 
networks face unique challenges in safety, infrastructure condition, 
and passenger and freight usage. Consistent with the Rural 
Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success (ROUTES) 
Initiative, the Department will consider how the project will address 
the challenges faced by rural areas.
b. Key Program Objective #2: Leveraging of Federal Funding
    The Department is committed to supporting the President's call for 
more infrastructure investment. That goal will not be achieved through 
Federal investment alone, but rather requires States, local 
governments, and the private sector to maximize their own 
contributions.
    By emphasizing leveraging of Federal funding, the Department 
expects to expand the total resources being used to build and restore 
infrastructure, rather than have Federal dollars merely displace or 
substitute for State, local, and private funds.
c. Key Program Objective #3: Innovation
    The Department seeks to use the INFRA program to encourage 
innovation in three areas: (1) The deployment of innovative technology 
and expanded access to broadband; (2) use of innovative permitting, 
contracting, and other project delivery practices; and (3) innovative 
financing. This objective supports the Department's strategic goal of 
innovation, with the potential for significantly enhancing the safety, 
efficiency, and performance of the transportation network. The USDOT 
anticipates INFRA projects will support the integration of new 
technology and facilitate increased public and private sector 
collaboration. In section E.1.a (Criterion #3), the Department provides 
many examples of innovative technologies, practices, and financing. It 
encourages applicants to identify those

[[Page 3747]]

that are suitable for their projects and local constraints.
d. Key Program Objective #4: Performance and Accountability
    The Department seeks to increase project sponsor accountability and 
performance by evaluating each INFRA applicant's plans to address the 
full lifecycle costs of their project and willingness to condition 
award funding on achieving specific Departmental goals.
    To maximize public benefits from INFRA funds and promote local 
activity that will provide benefits beyond the INFRA-funded projects, 
the Department seeks projects that allow it to condition funding on 
specific, measurable outcomes. For appropriate projects, the Department 
may use one or more of the following types of events to trigger 
availability of some or all INFRA funds: (1) Reaching construction and 
project completion in a timely manner; or (2) achieving transportation 
performance objectives that support economic vitality or improve 
safety.
    The Department does not intend to impose these conditions on 
unwilling or uninterested INFRA recipients, nor does it intend to limit 
the types of projects that should consider accountability mechanisms. 
Instead, in section E.1.d (Criterion #4), the Department provides a 
framework for accountability measures and encourages applicants to 
voluntarily identify those that are most appropriate for their projects 
and local constraints.

3. Changes From the FY 2019 NOFO

    The FY 2020 INFRA Notice provides additional information explaining 
how the Department will evaluate whether applications meet the 
statutory Large Project Requirements described in Section C.3.d. 
Additionally, the Department has added, as a factor in the economic 
vitality evaluation (Sections A.2.a., D.2.b.v, and E.1.a), whether a 
project primarily serves freight and goods movement. Finally, 
consistent with the ROUTES Initiative, the Department will consider how 
projects address challenges in rural areas.
    Applicants who are planning to re-apply using materials prepared 
for prior competitions should ensure that their FY 2020 application 
fully addresses the criteria and considerations described in this 
Notice and that all relevant information is up to date.

B. Federal Award Information

1. Amount Available

    The FAST Act authorizes the INFRA program at $4.5 billion for 
fiscal years (FY) 2016 through 2020, including $1 billion \1\ for FY 
2020, to be awarded by USDOT on a competitive basis to projects of 
national or regional significance that meet statutory requirements. 
This notice solicits applications for the $906 million in FY 2020 INFRA 
funds available for awards. In addition to the FY 2020 INFRA funds, 
amounts from prior year authorizations, presently estimated at up to 
$150 million, may be made available and awarded under this 
solicitation. Any award under this notice will be subject to the 
availability of appropriated funds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid highway 
obligation limitation, and funds in excess of the obligation 
limitation provided to the program are distributed to the States. 
While $1 billion is authorized for FY 2020, $906 million is 
available for award. For additional information see FAST Act Sec.  
1102 (f) and the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and 
Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2016, Public Law 114-113, div. 
L Sec.  120.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Restrictions on Award Portfolio

    The Department will make awards under the INFRA program to both 
large and small projects (refer to section C.3.ii.for a definition of 
large and small projects). For a large project, the FAST Act specifies 
that an INFRA grant must be at least $25 million. For a small project, 
including both construction awards and project development awards, the 
grant must be at least $5 million. For each fiscal year of INFRA funds, 
10 percent of available funds are reserved for small projects, and 90 
percent of funds are reserved for large projects.
    The FAST Act specifies that not more than $500 million in aggregate 
of the $4.5 billion authorized for INFRA grants over fiscal years 2016 
to 2020 may be used for grants to freight rail, water (including 
ports), or other freight intermodal projects that make significant 
improvements to freight movement on the National Highway Freight 
Network. After accounting for FY 2016-2019 INFRA selections, as much as 
$158 million may be available within this constraint. Only the non-
highway portion(s) of multimodal projects count toward this limit. 
Grade crossing and grade separation projects do not count toward the 
limit for freight rail, port, and intermodal projects. The Department's 
awards may not exhaust this limitation.
    The FAST Act directs that at least 25 percent of the funds provided 
for INFRA grants must be used for projects located in rural areas, as 
defined in Section C.3.e. The Department may elect to go above that 
threshold. The USDOT must consider geographic diversity among grant 
recipients, including the need for a balance in addressing the needs of 
urban and rural areas.

C. Eligibility Information

    To be selected for an INFRA grant, an applicant must be an Eligible 
Applicant and the project must be an Eligible Project that meets the 
Minimum Project Size Requirement.

1. Eligible Applicants

    Eligible applicants for INFRA grants are: (1) A State or group of 
States; (2) a metropolitan planning organization that serves an 
Urbanized Area (as defined by the Bureau of the Census) with a 
population of more than 200,000 individuals; (3) a unit of local 
government or group of local governments; (4) a political subdivision 
of a State or local government; (5) a special purpose district or 
public authority with a transportation function, including a port 
authority; (6) a Federal land management agency that applies jointly 
with a State or group of States; (7) a tribal government or a 
consortium of tribal governments; or (8) a multi-State or 
multijurisdictional group of public entities.
    Multiple States or jurisdictions that submit a joint application 
should identify a lead applicant as the primary point of contact. Joint 
applications should include a description of the roles and 
responsibilities of each applicant and should be signed by each 
applicant. The applicant that will be responsible for financial 
administration of the project must be an eligible applicant.

2. Cost Sharing or Matching

    This section describes the statutory cost share requirements for an 
INFRA award. Cost share will also be evaluated according to the 
``Leveraging of Federal Funding'' evaluation criterion described in 
Section E.1.a (Criterion #2). That section clarifies that the 
Department seeks applications for projects that exceed the minimum non-
Federal cost share requirement described here.
    INFRA grants may be used for up to 60 percent of future eligible 
project costs. Other Federal assistance may satisfy the non-Federal 
share requirement for an INFRA grant, but total Federal assistance for 
a project receiving an INFRA grant may not exceed 80 percent of future 
eligible project costs. Non-Federal sources include State funds 
originating from programs funded by State revenue, local funds 
originating from State or local revenue-funded programs, private funds 
or other funding sources of non-Federal origins. If a Federal land 
management agency applies jointly with a State or

[[Page 3748]]

group of States, and that agency carries out the project, then Federal 
funds that were not made available under titles 23 or 49 of the United 
States Code may be used for the non-Federal share. Unless otherwise 
authorized by statute, local cost-share may not be counted as non-
Federal share for both the INFRA and another Federal program. For any 
project, the Department cannot consider previously incurred costs or 
previously expended or encumbered funds towards the matching 
requirement. Matching funds are subject to the same Federal 
requirements described in Section F.2.b as awarded funds.
    For the purpose of evaluating eligibility under the statutory limit 
on total Federal assistance, funds from the Transportation 
Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and Railroad 
Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) credit assistance 
programs are considered Federal assistance and, combined with other 
Federal assistance, may not exceed 80 percent of the future eligible 
project costs.

3. Other

a. Eligible Projects
    Eligible projects for INFRA grants are: Highway freight projects 
carried out on the National Highway Freight Network (23 U.S.C. 167); 
highway or bridge projects carried out on the National Highway System 
(NHS), including projects that add capacity on the Interstate System to 
improve mobility or projects in a national scenic area; railway-highway 
grade crossing or grade separation projects; or a freight project that 
is (1) an intermodal or rail project, or (2) within the boundaries of a 
public or private freight rail, water (including ports), or intermodal 
facility. A project within the boundaries of a freight rail, water 
(including ports), or intermodal facility must be a surface 
transportation infrastructure project necessary to facilitate direct 
intermodal interchange, transfer, or access into or out of the facility 
and must significantly improve freight movement on the National Highway 
Freight Network. Improving freight movement on the National Highway 
Freight Network may include shifting freight transportation to other 
modes, thereby reducing congestion and bottlenecks on the National 
Highway Freight Network. For a freight project within the boundaries of 
a freight rail, water (including ports), or intermodal facility, 
Federal funds can only support project elements that provide public 
benefits.
b. Eligible Project Costs
    INFRA grants may be used for the construction, reconstruction, 
rehabilitation, acquisition of property (including land related to the 
project and improvements to the land), environmental mitigation, 
construction contingencies, equipment acquisition, and operational 
improvements directly related to system performance. Statutorily, INFRA 
grants may also fund development phase activities, including planning, 
feasibility analysis, revenue forecasting, environmental review, 
preliminary engineering, design, and other preconstruction activities, 
provided the project meets statutory requirements. However, the 
Department is seeking to use INFRA funding on projects that result in 
construction. Public-private partnership assessments for projects in 
the development phase are also eligible costs.
    INFRA grant recipients may use INFRA funds to pay the subsidy and 
administrative costs necessary to receive TIFIA credit assistance.
c. Minimum Project Size Requirement
    For the purposes of determining whether a project meets the minimum 
project size requirement, the Department will count all future eligible 
project costs under the award and some related costs incurred before 
selection for an INFRA grant. Previously incurred costs will be counted 
toward the minimum project size requirement only if they were eligible 
project costs under Section C.3.b. and were expended as part of the 
project for which the applicant seeks funds. Although those previously 
incurred costs may be used for meeting the minimum project size 
thresholds described in this Section, they cannot be reimbursed with 
INFRA grant funds, nor will they count toward the project's required 
non-Federal share.
i. Large Projects
    The minimum project size for large projects is the lesser of $100 
million; 30 percent of a State's FY 2018 Federal-aid apportionment if 
the project is located in one State; or 50 percent of the larger 
participating State's FY 2018 apportionment for projects located in 
more than one State. The following chart identifies the minimum total 
project cost for projects for FY 2018 for both single and multi-State 
projects.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                            FY20 NSFHP      FY20 NSFHP
                                           (30% of FY19    (50% of FY19
                                          apportionment)  apportionment)
                  State                      one-state      multi-state
                                              minimum        minimum *
                                            (millions)      (millions)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Alabama.................................            $100            $100
Alaska..................................             100             100
Arizona.................................             100             100
Arkansas................................             100             100
California..............................             100             100
Colorado................................             100             100
Connecticut.............................             100             100
Delaware................................              54              91
Dist. of Col............................              51              86
Florida.................................             100             100
Georgia.................................             100             100
Hawaii..................................              54              91
Idaho...................................              92             100
Illinois................................             100             100
Indiana.................................             100             100
Iowa....................................             100             100
Kansas..................................             100             100
Kentucky................................             100             100
Louisiana...............................             100             100
Maine...................................              59              99
Maryland................................             100             100
Massachusetts...........................             100             100
Michigan................................             100             100
Minnesota...............................             100             100
Mississippi.............................             100             100
Missouri................................             100             100
Montana.................................             100             100
Nebraska................................              93             100
Nevada..................................             100             100
New Hampshire...........................              53              89
New Jersey..............................             100             100
New Mexico..............................             100             100
New York................................             100             100
North Carolina..........................             100             100
North Dakota............................              80             100
Ohio....................................             100             100
Oklahoma................................             100             100
Oregon..................................             100             100
Pennsylvania............................             100             100
Rhode Island............................              70             100
South Carolina..........................             100             100
South Dakota............................              91             100
Tennessee...............................             100             100
Texas...................................             100             100
Utah....................................             100             100
Vermont.................................              65             100
Virginia................................             100             100
Washington..............................             100             100
West Virginia...........................             100             100
Wisconsin...............................             100             100
Wyoming.................................              83             100
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* For multi-State projects, the minimum project size is the largest of
  the multi-State minimums from the participating States.

ii. Small Projects
    A small project is an eligible project that does not meet the 
minimum project size described in Section C.3.c.i.
d. Large/Small Project Requirements
    For a large project to be selected, the Department must determine 
that the project meets seven requirements described in 23 U.S.C. 117(g) 
and below. If your project consists of multiple components with 
independent utility, the Department must determine that each component 
meets each requirement, to select it for an award. The requirements, 
and how they are considered, are listed below:
    Large Project Requirement #1: The project will generate national or 
regional economic, mobility, or safety benefits. The Department will 
base its

[[Page 3749]]

determination on its estimate and the nature of the project's benefits.
    Large Project Requirement #2: The project will be cost effective. 
The Department's determination will be based on its estimate of the 
project's benefit-cost ratio: A project is determined to be cost 
effective if the Department estimates that the project's benefit-cost 
ratio is equal to or greater than one.
    Large Project Requirement #3: The project will contribute to the 
accomplishment of one or more of the goals described in 23 U.S.C 150. 
The Department will base its determination on its estimate and the 
nature of the project's benefits.
    Large Project Requirement #4: The project is based on the results 
of preliminary engineering. For a project to meet this requirement, it 
must provide evidence that at least one of the following activities has 
been completed at the time of application submission, and therefore the 
project can be said to based on the results of that activity: 
Environmental assessments, topographic surveys, metes and bounds 
surveys, geotechnical investigations, hydrologic analysis, hydraulic 
analysis, utility engineering, traffic studies, financial plans, 
revenue estimates, hazardous materials assessments, general estimates 
of the types and quantities of materials, and other work needed to 
establish parameters for the final design.
    Large Project Requirement #5: With respect to related non-Federal 
financial commitments, one or more stable and dependable funding or 
financing sources are available to construct, maintain, and operate the 
project, and contingency amounts are available to cover unanticipated 
cost increases. The Department's determination will be based on the 
information provided in the project's Grant Funds, Sources and Uses of 
Project Funds section of the application. In assessing the stability 
and dependability of the proposed non-federal financial commitments, 
the Department will consider the degree to which financing sources are 
dedicated to the proposed purposes and are highly likely to be 
available within the proposed project schedule. The Department's 
determination will also be based on evidence of contingency funding in 
the project budget.
    Large Project Requirement #6: The project cannot be easily and 
efficiently completed without other Federal funding or financial 
assistance available to the project sponsor. For a project to meet this 
requirement, the application must describe the impacts on the project 
of federal funding or financial assistance being unavailable for the 
project, to show the project cannot be easily or efficiently completed 
without such assistance.
    Large Project Requirement #7: The project is reasonably expected to 
begin construction no later than 18 months after the date of obligation 
of funds for the project. The Department will base its determination on 
the proposed project schedule and the evaluation of the project 
readiness evaluation team.
    These seven large project requirements are discussed in greater 
detail in section D.2.b.vii.
    For a small project to be selected, the Department must consider 
the cost-effectiveness of the proposed project and the effect of the 
proposed project on mobility in the State and region in which the 
project is carried out.
e. Rural/Urban Area
    This section describes the statutory definition of urban and rural 
areas and the minimum statutory requirements for projects that meet 
those definitions. For more information on how the Department consider 
projects in urban, rural, and low population areas as part of the 
selection process, see Section E.1.a. Criterion #2, and E.1.c.
    The INFRA statute defines a rural area as an area outside an 
Urbanized Area \2\ with a population of over 200,000. In this notice, 
urban area is defined as inside an Urbanized Area, as a designated by 
the U.S. Census Bureau, with a population of 200,000 or more.\3\ Rural 
and urban definitions differ in some other USDOT programs, including 
TIFIA and the FY 2018 Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage 
Development (BUILD) Discretionary Grants program. Cost share 
requirements and minimum grant awards are the same for projects located 
in rural and urban areas. The Department will consider a project to be 
in a rural area if the majority of the project (determined by 
geographic location(s) where the majority of the money is to be spent) 
is located in a rural area. However, if a project consists of multiple 
components, as described under section C.3.f or C.3.g., then for each 
separate component the Department will determine whether that component 
is rural or urban. In some circumstances, including networks of 
projects under section C.3.g that cover wide geographic regions, this 
component-by-component determination may result in INFRA awards that 
include urban and rural funds.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ For Census 2010, the Census Bureau defined an Urbanized Area 
(UA) as an area that consists of densely settled territory that 
contains 50,000 or more people. Updated lists of UAs are available 
on the Census Bureau website at http://www2.census.gov/geo/maps/dc10map/UAUC_RefMap/ua/. For the purposes of the INFRA program, 
Urbanized Areas with populations fewer than 200,000 will be 
considered rural.
    \3\ See www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/InFRAgrants for a 
list of Urbanized Areas with a population of 200,000 or more.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

f. Project Components
    An application may describe a project that contains more than one 
component. The USDOT may award funds for a component, instead of the 
larger project, if that component (1) independently meets minimum award 
amounts described in Section B and all eligibility requirements 
described in Section C, including the requirements for large projects 
described in Sections C.3.d and D.2.b.vii; (2) independently aligns 
well with the selection criteria specified in Section E; and (3) meets 
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements with respect to 
independent utility. Independent utility means that the component will 
represent a transportation improvement that is usable and represents a 
reasonable expenditure of USDOT funds even if no other improvements are 
made in the area, and will be ready for intended use upon completion of 
that component's construction. If an application describes multiple 
components, the application should demonstrate how the components 
collectively advance the purposes of the INFRA program. An applicant 
should not add multiple components to a single application merely to 
aggregate costs or avoid submitting multiple applications.
    Applicants should be aware that, depending upon applicable Federal 
law and the relationship among project components, an award funding 
only some project components may make other project components subject 
to Federal requirements as described in Section F.2.b. For example, 
under 40 CFR 1508.25, the NEPA review for the funded project component 
may need to include evaluation of all project components as connected, 
similar, or cumulative actions.
    The Department strongly encourages applicants to identify in their 
applications the project components that meet independent utility 
standards and separately detail the costs and INFRA funding requested 
for each component. If the application identifies one or more 
independent project components, the application should clearly identify 
how each independent component addresses selection criteria and 
produces benefits on its own, in addition to describing how the full 
proposal of which the independent

[[Page 3750]]

component is a part addresses selection criteria.
g. Network of Projects
    An application may describe and request funding for a network of 
projects. A network of projects is one INFRA award that consists of 
multiple projects addressing the same transportation problem. For 
example, if an applicant seeks to improve efficiency along a rail 
corridor, then their application might propose one award for four grade 
separation projects at four different railway-highway crossings. Each 
of the four projects would independently reduce congestion but the 
overall benefits would be greater if the projects were completed 
together under a single award.
    The USDOT will evaluate applications that describe networks of 
projects similar to how it evaluates projects with multiple components. 
Because of their similarities, the guidance in Section C.3.f is 
applicable to networks of projects, and applicants should follow that 
guidance on how to present information in their application. As with 
project components, depending upon applicable Federal law and the 
relationship among projects within a network of projects, an award that 
funds only some projects in a network may make other projects subject 
to Federal requirements as described in Section F.2.
h. Application Limit
    To encourage applicants to prioritize their INFRA submissions, each 
eligible applicant may submit no more than three applications. The 
three-application limit applies only to applications where the 
applicant is the lead applicant. There is no limit on applications for 
which an applicant can be listed as a partnering agency. If a lead 
applicant submits more than three applications as the lead applicant, 
only the first three received will be considered.

D. Application and Submission Information

1. Address

    Applications must be submitted through www.Grants.gov. Instructions 
for submitting applications can be found at https://
www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/InFRAgrants.

2. Content and Form of Application

    The application must include the Standard Form 424 (Application for 
Federal Assistance), Standard Form 424C (Budget Information for 
Construction Programs), cover page, and the Project Narrative. More 
detailed information about the cover pages and Project Narrative 
follows.
a. Cover Page
    Each application should contain a cover page with the following 
chart:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Basic Project Information:
    What is the Project Name?
    Who is the Project Sponsor?
    Was an INFRA application for this
     project submitted previously? (If
     Yes, please include title).
Project Costs:
    INFRA Request Amount...............  Exact Amount in year-of-
                                          expenditure dollars.
    Estimated Federal funding (excl.     Estimate in year-of-expenditure
     INFRA), anticipated to be used in    dollars.
     INFRA funded future project.
    Estimated non-Federal funding        Estimate in year-of-expenditure
     anticipated to be used in INFRA      dollars.
     funded future project.
    Future Eligible Project Cost (Sum    Estimate in year-of-expenditure
     of previous three rows).             dollars.
    Previously incurred project costs    Estimate in year-of-expenditure
     (if applicable).                     dollars.
    Total Project Cost (Sum of           Estimate in year-of-expenditure
     `previous incurred' and `future      dollars.
     eligible').
    Are matching funds restricted to a
     specific project component? If so,
     which one?
Project Eligibility (To be eligible,
 all future eligible project costs must
 fall into at least one of the
 following four categories):
    Approximately how much of the        Please provide an estimate, in
     estimated future eligible project    year-of-expenditure dollars,
     costs will be spent on components    of the costs that meet this
     of the project currently located     definition.
     on National Highway Freight
     Network (NHFN)?
    Approximately how much of the        Please provide an estimate, in
     estimated future eligible project    year-of-expenditure dollars,
     costs will be spent on components    of the costs that meet this
     of the project currently located     definition.
     on the National Highway System
     (NHS)?
    Approximately how much of the        Please provide an estimate, in
     estimated future eligible project    year-of-expenditure dollars,
     costs will be spent on components    of the costs that meet this
     constituting railway-highway grade   definition.
     crossing or grade separation
     projects?
    Approximately how much of the        Please provide an estimate, in
     estimated future eligible project    year-of-expenditure dollars,
     costs will be spent on components    of the costs that meet this
     constituting intermodal or freight   definition.
     rail projects, or freight projects
     within the boundaries of a public
     or private freight rail, water
     (including ports), or intermodal
     facility?
Project Location:
    State(s) in which project is
     located.
    Small or large project.............  Small/Large.
    Urbanized Area in which project is
     located, if applicable.
    Population of Urbanized Area
     (According to 2010 Census).
    Is the project located (entirely or  Yes/No (Please reference https:/
     partially) in an Opportunity Zone?.  /www.cdfifund.gov/Pages/
                                          Opportunity-Zones.aspx) Please
                                          identify the specific 2011-
                                          2015 Low-Income Community
                                          Census Tract(s) (by number)
                                          that are Opportunity Zones.
    Is the project currently programmed  Yes/no (Please specify in which
     in the.                              plans the project is currently
     TIP.......................   programmed, and provide the
     STIP......................   identifying number if
                                          applicable).
         MPO Long Range
         Transportation Plan.
         State Long Range
         Transportation Plan.
         State Freight Plan?
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 3751]]

b. Project Narrative
    The Department recommends that the project narrative follow the 
basic outline below to address the program requirements and assist 
evaluators in locating relevant information.

 
 
 
I. Project Description....................  See D.2.b.i
II. Project Location......................  See D.2.b.ii
III. Project Parties......................  See D.2.b.iii.
IV. Grant Funds, Sources and Uses of all    See D.2.b.iv
 Project Funding.
V. Merit Criteria.........................  See D.2.b.v
VI. Project Readiness.....................  See D.2.b.vi and E.1.c.ii
VII. Large/Small Project Requirements.....  See D.2.b.vii and C.3.d.
 

    The project narrative should include the information necessary for 
the Department to determine that the project satisfies project 
requirements described in Sections B and C and to assess the selection 
criteria specified in Section E.1. To the extent practicable, 
applicants should provide supporting data and documentation in a form 
that is directly verifiable by the Department. The Department may ask 
any applicant to supplement data in its application, but expects 
applications to be complete upon submission.
    In addition to a detailed statement of work, detailed project 
schedule, and detailed project budget, the project narrative should 
include a table of contents, maps, and graphics, as appropriate, to 
make the information easier to review. The Department recommends that 
the project narrative be prepared with standard formatting preferences 
(i.e., a single-spaced document, using a standard 12-point font such as 
Times New Roman, with 1-inch margins). The project narrative may not 
exceed 25 pages in length, excluding cover pages and table of contents. 
The only substantive portions that may exceed the 25-page limit are 
documents supporting assertions or conclusions made in the 25-page 
project narrative. If possible, website links to supporting 
documentation should be provided rather than copies of these supporting 
materials. If supporting documents are submitted, applicants should 
clearly identify within the project narrative the relevant portion of 
the project narrative that each supporting document supports. At the 
applicant's discretion, relevant materials provided previously to a 
modal administration in support of a different USDOT financial 
assistance program may be referenced and described as unchanged. The 
Department recommends using appropriately descriptive final names 
(e.g., ``Project Narrative,'' ``Maps,'' ``Memoranda of Understanding 
and Letters of Support,'' etc.) for all attachments. The USDOT 
recommends applications include the following sections:
i. Project Summary
    The first section of the application should provide a concise 
description of the project, the transportation challenges that it is 
intended to address, and how it will address those challenges. This 
section should discuss the project's history, including a description 
of any previously incurred costs. The applicant may use this section to 
place the project into a broader context of other infrastructure 
investments being pursued by the project sponsor.
ii. Project Location
    This section of the application should describe the project 
location, including a detailed geographical description of the proposed 
project, a map of the project's location and connections to existing 
transportation infrastructure, and geospatial data describing the 
project location. If the project is located within the boundary of a 
Census-designated Urbanized Area, the application should identify the 
Urbanized Area.
iii. Project Parties
    This section of the application should list all project parties, 
including details about the proposed grant recipient and other public 
and private parties who are involved in delivering the project, such as 
port authorities, terminal operators, freight railroads, shippers, 
carriers, freight-related associations, third-party logistics 
providers, and freight industry workforce organizations.
iv. Grant Funds, Sources and Uses of Project Funds
    This section of the application should describe the project's 
budget. At a minimum, it should include:
    (A) Previously incurred expenses, as defined in Section C.3.c.
    (B) Future eligible costs, as defined in Section C.3.c.
    (C) For all funds to be used for future eligible project costs, the 
source and amount of those funds.
    (D) For non-Federal funds to be used for future eligible project 
costs, documentation of funding commitments should be referenced here 
and included as an appendix to the application.
    (E) For Federal funds to be used for future eligible project costs, 
the amount, nature, and source of any required non-Federal match for 
those funds.
    (F) A budget showing how each source of funds will be spent. The 
budget should show how each funding source will share in each major 
construction activity, and present that data in dollars and 
percentages. Funding sources should be grouped into three categories: 
Non-Federal; INFRA; and other Federal. If the project contains 
components, the budget should separate the costs of each project 
component. If the project will be completed in phases, the budget 
should separate the costs of each phase. The budget should be detailed 
enough to demonstrate that the project satisfies the statutory cost-
sharing requirements described in Section C.2.
    (G) Information showing that the applicant has budgeted sufficient 
contingency amounts to cover unanticipated cost increases.
    (H) The amount of the requested INFRA funds that would be subject 
to the limit on freight rail, port, and intermodal infrastructure 
described in Section B.2.
    In addition to the information enumerated above, this section 
should provide complete information on how all project funds may be 
used. For example, if a source of funds is available only after a 
condition is satisfied, the application should identify that condition 
and describe the applicant's control over whether it is satisfied. 
Similarly, if a source of funds is available for expenditure only 
during a fixed period, the application should describe that 
restriction. Complete information about project funds will ensure that 
the Department's expectations for award execution align with any 
funding restrictions unrelated to the Department, even if an award 
differs from the applicant's request.
v. Merit Criteria
    This section of the application should demonstrate how the project 
aligns with the Merit Criteria described in Section E.1 of this notice. 
The Department encourages applicants to address each criterion or 
expressly state that the project does not address the criterion. 
Applicants are not required to follow a specific format, but the 
following organization, which addresses each criterion separately, 
promotes a clear discussion that assists project evaluators. To 
minimize redundant information in the application, the Department 
encourages applicants to cross-reference from this section of their 
application to relevant substantive information in other sections of 
the application.
    The guidance here is about how the applicant should organize their 
application. Guidance describing how the Department will evaluate 
projects against the Merit Criteria is in Section

[[Page 3752]]

E.1 of this notice. Applicants also should review that section before 
considering how to organize their application.
Criterion #1: Support for National or Regional Economic Vitality
    This section of the application should describe the anticipated 
outcomes of the project that support the Economic Vitality criterion 
(described in Section E.1.a of this notice). The applicant should 
summarize the conclusions of the project's benefit-cost analysis, 
including estimates of the project's benefit-cost ratio and net 
benefits. The applicant should also describe economic impacts and other 
data-supported benefits that are not included in the benefit-cost 
analysis. For the purposes of considering whether the project primarily 
serves freight and goods movement, the application should include 
estimates of the volume and share of freight (trucks, rail carloads, 
TEUs, tonnage, or other relevant measure) that travels through the 
project area and identify the sources for those estimates.
    Consistent with the Department's ROUTES Initiative, the Department 
encourages applicants to describe how the project would address the 
unique challenges of rural transportation networks in safety, 
infrastructure condition, and passenger and freight usage, should the 
project serve a rural location.
    The benefit-cost analysis itself should be provided as an appendix 
to the project narrative, as described in Section D.2.d. of this 
notice.
Criterion #2: Leveraging of Federal Funding
    While the Leveraging Criterion will be assessed according to the 
methodology described in Section E.1.a., this section of the 
application may be used to include additional information that may 
strengthen the Department's understanding of the project sponsor's 
effort to improve non-Federal leverage. Please describe the source of 
all matching funds in the project's financial plan. Please state the 
share of matching funds coming from Federal funds, including Federal 
formula funds that may be passed through a state entity.
Criterion #3: Potential for Innovation
    This section of the application should contain sufficient 
information to evaluate how the project includes or enables innovation 
in: (1) The accelerated deployment of innovative technology, including 
expanded access to broadband; (2) use of innovative permitting, 
contracting, and other project delivery practices; and (3) innovative 
financing. If the project does not address a particular innovation 
area, the application should state this fact. Please see Section E.1.a 
for additional information.
Criterion #4: Performance and Accountability
    This section of the application should include sufficient 
information to evaluate how the applicant will advance the Performance 
and Accountability program objective. In general, the applicant should 
indicate which (if any) accountability measures they are willing to 
implement or have implemented, along with the specific details 
necessary for the Department to evaluate their accountability measure. 
The applicant should also address the lifecycle cost component of this 
criterion in this section. See Section E.1.a for additional 
information.
vi. Project Readiness
    This section of the application should include information that, 
when considered with the project budget information presented elsewhere 
in the application, is sufficient for the Department to evaluate 
whether the project is reasonably expected to begin construction in a 
timely manner. To assist the Department's project readiness assessment, 
the applicant should provide the information requested on technical 
feasibility, project schedule, project approvals, and project risks, 
each of which is described in greater detail in the following sections. 
Applicants are not required to follow the specific format described 
here, but this organization, which addresses each relevant aspect of 
project readiness, promotes a clear discussion that assists project 
evaluators. To minimize redundant information in the application, the 
Department encourages applicants to cross-reference from this section 
of their application to relevant substantive information in other 
sections of the application.
    The guidance here is about what information applicants should 
provide and how the applicant should organize their application. 
Guidance describing how the Department will evaluate a project's 
readiness is described in section E.1 of this notice. Applicants also 
should review that section before considering how to organize their 
application.
    (A) Technical Feasibility. The applicant should demonstrate the 
technical feasibility of the project with engineering and design 
studies and activities; the development of design criteria and/or a 
basis of design; the basis for the cost estimate presented in the INFRA 
application, including the identification of contingency levels 
appropriate to its level of design; and any scope, schedule, and budget 
risk-mitigation measures. Applicants should include a detailed 
statement of work that focuses on the technical and engineering aspects 
of the project and describes in detail the project to be constructed.
    (B) Project Schedule. The applicant should include a detailed 
project schedule that identifies all major project milestones. Examples 
of such milestones include State and local planning approvals 
(programming on the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program), 
start and completion of NEPA and other Federal environmental reviews 
and approvals including permitting; design completion; right of way 
acquisition; approval of plans, specifications and estimates (PS&E); 
procurement; State and local approvals; project partnership and 
implementation agreements including agreements with railroads; and 
construction. The project schedule should be sufficiently detailed to 
demonstrate that:
    (1) All necessary activities will be complete to allow INFRA funds 
to be obligated sufficiently in advance of the statutory deadline 
(September 30, 2023 for FY 2020 funds), and that any unexpected delays 
will not put the funds at risk of expiring before they are obligated;
    (2) the project can begin construction quickly upon obligation of 
INFRA funds, and that the grant funds will be spent expeditiously once 
construction starts; and
    (3) all real property and right-of-way acquisition will be 
completed in a timely manner in accordance with 49 CFR part 24, 23 CFR 
part 710, and other applicable legal requirements or a statement that 
no acquisition is necessary.
    (C) Required Approvals.
    (1) Environmental Permits and Reviews. The application should 
demonstrate receipt (or reasonably anticipated receipt) of all 
environmental approvals and permits necessary for the project to 
proceed to construction on the timeline specified in the project 
schedule and necessary to meet the statutory obligation deadline, 
including satisfaction of all Federal, State, and local requirements 
and completion of the NEPA process. Specifically, the application 
should include:
    (a) Information about the NEPA status of the project. If the NEPA 
process is complete, an applicant should indicate the date of 
completion, and provide a

[[Page 3753]]

website link or other reference to the final Categorical Exclusion, 
Finding of No Significant Impact, Record of Decision, and any other 
NEPA documents prepared. If the NEPA process is underway, but not 
complete, the application should detail the type of NEPA review 
underway, where the project is in the process, and indicate the 
anticipated date of completion of all milestones and of the final NEPA 
determination. If the last agency action with respect to NEPA documents 
occurred more than three years before the application date, the 
applicant should describe why the project has been delayed and include 
a proposed approach for verifying and, if necessary, updating this 
material in accordance with applicable NEPA requirements.
    (b) Information on reviews, approvals, and permits by other 
agencies. An application should indicate whether the proposed project 
requires reviews or approval actions by other agencies,\4\ indicate the 
status of such actions, and provide detailed information about the 
status of those reviews or approvals and should demonstrate compliance 
with any other applicable Federal, State, or local requirements, and 
when such approvals are expected. Applicants should provide a website 
link or other reference to copies of any reviews, approvals, and 
permits prepared.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \4\ Projects that may impact protected resources such as 
wetlands, species habitat, cultural or historic resources require 
review and approval by Federal and State agencies with jurisdiction 
over those resources.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (c) Environmental studies or other documents--preferably through a 
website link--that describe in detail known project impacts, and 
possible mitigation for those impacts.
    (d) A description of discussions with the appropriate USDOT modal 
administration field or headquarters office regarding the project's 
compliance with NEPA and other applicable Federal environmental reviews 
and approvals.
    (e) A description of public engagement about the project that has 
occurred, including details on the degree to which public comments and 
commitments have been integrated into project development and design.
    (2) State and Local Approvals. The applicant should demonstrate 
receipt of State and local approvals on which the project depends, such 
as State and local environmental and planning approvals and STIP or TIP 
funding. Additional support from relevant State and local officials is 
not required; however, an applicant should demonstrate that the project 
has broad public support.
    (3) Federal Transportation Requirements Affecting State and Local 
Planning. The planning requirements applicable to the Federal-aid 
highway program apply to all INFRA projects, but for port, freight, and 
rail projects, planning requirements of the operating administration 
that will administer the INFRA project will also apply,\5\ including 
intermodal projects located at airport facilities.\6\ Applicants should 
demonstrate that a project that is required to be included in the 
relevant State, metropolitan, and local planning documents has been or 
will be included in such documents. If the project is not included in a 
relevant planning document at the time the application is submitted, 
the applicant should submit a statement from the appropriate planning 
agency that actions are underway to include the project in the relevant 
planning document.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ In accordance with 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135, all projects 
requiring an action by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) 
must be in the applicable plan and programming documents (e.g., 
metropolitan transportation plan, transportation improvement program 
(TIP) and statewide transportation improvement program (STIP)). 
Further, in air quality non-attainment and maintenance areas, all 
regionally significant projects, regardless of the funding source, 
must be included in the conforming metropolitan transportation plan 
and TIP. Inclusion in the STIP is required under certain 
circumstances. To the extent a project is required to be on a 
metropolitan transportation plan, TIP, and/or STIP, it will not 
receive an INFRA grant until it is included in such plans. Projects 
not currently included in these plans can be amended by the State 
and metropolitan planning organization (MPO). Projects that are not 
required to be in long range transportation plans, STIPs, and TIPs 
will not need to be included in such plans to receive an INFRA 
grant. Port, freight rail, and intermodal projects are not required 
to be on the State Rail Plans called for in the Passenger Rail 
Investment and Improvement Act of 2008. However, applicants seeking 
funding for freight projects are encouraged to demonstrate that they 
have done sufficient planning to ensure that projects fit into a 
prioritized list of capital needs and are consistent with long-range 
goals. Means of demonstrating this consistency would include whether 
the project is in a TIP or a State Freight Plan that conforms to the 
requirements Section 70202 of Title 49 prior to the start of 
construction. Port planning guidelines are available at 
StrongPorts.gov.
    \6\ Projects at grant obligated airports must be compatible with 
the FAA-approved Airport Layout Plan (ALP), as well as aeronautical 
surfaces associated with the landing and takeoff of aircraft at the 
airport. Additionally, projects at an airport: Must comply with 
established Sponsor Grant Assurances, including (but not limited to) 
requirements for non-exclusive use facilities, consultation with 
users, consistency with local plans including development of the 
area surrounding the airport, and consideration of the interest of 
nearby communities, among others; and must not adversely affect the 
continued and unhindered access of passengers to the terminal.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To the extent possible, freight projects should be included in a 
State Freight Plan and supported by a State Freight Advisory Committee 
(49 U.S.C. 70201, 70202). Applicants should provide links or other 
documentation supporting this consideration.
    Because projects have different schedules, the construction start 
date for each INFRA grant will be specified in the project-specific 
agreements signed by relevant modal administration and the grant 
recipients, based on critical path items that applicants identify in 
the application and will be consistent with relevant State and local 
plans.
    (D) Assessment of Project Risks and Mitigation Strategies. Project 
risks, such as procurement delays, environmental uncertainties, 
increases in real estate acquisition costs, uncommitted local match, or 
lack of legislative approval, affect the likelihood of successful 
project start and completion. The applicant should identify all 
material risks to the project and the strategies that the lead 
applicant and any project partners have undertaken or will undertake to 
mitigate those risks. The applicant should assess the greatest risks to 
the project and identify how the project parties will mitigate those 
risks.
    To the extent it is unfamiliar with the Federal program, the 
applicant should contact USDOT modal field or headquarters offices as 
found at www.transportation.gov/infragrants for information on what 
steps are pre-requisite to the obligation of Federal funds to ensure 
that their project schedule is reasonable and that there are no risks 
of delays in satisfying Federal requirements.
vii. Large/Small Project Requirements
    To select a large project for award, the Department must determine 
that the project--as a whole, as well as each independent component of 
the project--satisfies several statutory requirements enumerated at 23 
U.S.C. 117(g) and restated in the table below. The application must 
include sufficient information for the Department to make these 
determinations for both the project as a whole and for each independent 
component of the project. Applicants should use this section of the 
application to summarize how their project and, if present, each 
independent project component, meets each of the following 
requirements. Applicants are not required to reproduce the table below 
in their application, but following this format will help evaluators 
identify the relevant information that supports each large project 
determination. To minimize redundant information in the application, 
the Department encourages applicants to cross-reference from this 
section of their application to relevant

[[Page 3754]]

substantive information in other sections of the application.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Large project determination                    Guidance
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Does the project generate national    Summarize the economic,
 or regional economic, mobility, or       mobility, and safety benefits
 safety benefits?                         of the project and independent
                                          project components, and
                                          describe the scale of their
                                          impact in national or regional
                                          terms. This information may be
                                          found in Section V. of the
                                          application.
2. Is the project cost effective?        Highlight the results of the
                                          benefit cost analysis, as well
                                          as the analyses of independent
                                          project components if
                                          applicable, described in
                                          Section V of the application.
3. Does the project contribute to one    Specify the Goal(s) and
 or more of the Goals listed under 23     summarize how the project and
 U.S.C. 150 (and shown below)?            independent project components
(1) National Goals.--It is in the         contributes to that goal(s).
 interest of the United States to focus   This information may also be
 the Federal-aid highway program on the   found in Section I or Section
 following national goals:.               V.
    (2) Safety.--To achieve a
     significant reduction in traffic
     fatalities and serious injuries on
     all public roads.
    (3) Infrastructure condition.--To
     maintain the highway
     infrastructure asset system in a
     state of good repair.
    (4) Congestion reduction.--To
     achieve a significant reduction in
     congestion on the National Highway
     System.
    (5) System reliability.--To improve
     the efficiency of the surface
     transportation system.
    (6) Freight movement and economic
     vitality.--To improve the national
     freight network, strengthen the
     ability of rural communities to
     access national and international
     trade markets, and support
     regional economic development.
    (7) Environmental sustainability.--
     To enhance the performance of the
     transportation system while
     protecting and enhancing the
     natural environment.
    (8) Reduced project delivery
     delays.--To reduce project costs,
     promote jobs and the economy, and
     expedite the movement of people
     and goods by accelerating project
     completion through eliminating
     delays in the project development
     and delivery process, including
     reducing regulatory burdens and
     improving agencies' work
     practices.
4. Is the project based on the results   For a project or independent
 of preliminary engineering?              project component to be based
                                          on the results of preliminary
                                          engineering, please indicate
                                          which of the following
                                          activities have been completed
                                          as of the date of application
                                          submission:
                                            Environmental
                                            Assessments.
                                            Topographic Surveys.
                                            Metes and Bounds
                                            Surveys.
                                            Geotechnical
                                            Investigations.
                                            Hydrologic Analysis.
                                            Utility Engineering.
                                            Traffic Studies.
                                            Financial Plans.
                                            Revenue Estimates.
                                            Hazardous Materials
                                            Assessments.
                                            General estimates of
                                            the types and quantities of
                                            materials.
                                            Other work needed to
                                            establish parameters for the
                                            final design.
5a. With respect to non-Federal          Please indicate funding
 financial commitments, does the          source(s) and amounts that
 project have one or more stable and      will account for all project
 dependable funding or financing          costs for the project and each
 sources to construct, maintain, and      independent project component,
 operate the project?                     if applicable. Historical
                                          trends, current policy, or
                                          future feasibility analyses
                                          can be used as evidence to
                                          substantiate the stable and
                                          dependable nature of the non-
                                          Federal funding or financing.
5b. Are contingency amounts available    Contingency amounts are often,
 to cover unanticipated cost increases?   but not always, expressly
                                          shown in project budgets or
                                          the SF-424C. If your project
                                          cost estimates include an
                                          implicit contingency
                                          calculation, please say so
                                          directly.
6. Is it the case that the project       Describe the impact on the
 cannot be easily and efficiently         proposed project of no federal
 completed without other Federal          funding being available for
 funding or financial assistance          that project, including the
 available to the project sponsor?        INFRA grant, sufficient to
                                          demonstrate that the project
                                          cannot be completed easily or
                                          efficiently without Federal
                                          funding or financial
                                          assistance. Negative impacts
                                          to the project's costs or
                                          schedule are frequently used
                                          examples.
7. Is the project reasonably expected    Please reference project budget
 to begin construction not later than     and schedule when providing
 18 months after the date of obligation   evidence. If the project has
 of funds for the project?                multiple independent
                                          components, or will be
                                          obligated and constructed in
                                          multiple phases, please
                                          provide sufficient information
                                          to show that each component
                                          meets this requirement.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 3755]]

    For a small project to be selected, the Department must consider 
the cost effectiveness of the proposed project and the effect of the 
proposed project on mobility in the State and region in which the 
project is carried out. If an applicant seeks an award for a small 
project, it should use this section to provide information on the 
project's cost effectiveness and the project's effect on the mobility 
in its State and region, or refer to where else the information can be 
found in the application.
c. Guidance for Benefit-Cost Analysis
    This section describes the recommended approach for the completion 
and submission of a benefit-cost analysis (BCA) as an appendix to the 
Project Narrative. The results of the analysis should be summarized in 
the Project Narrative directly, as described in Section D.2.b.v.
    Applicants should delineate each of their project's expected 
outcomes in the form of a complete BCA to enable the Department to 
consider cost-effectiveness (small projects), determine whether the 
project will be cost effective (large projects), estimate a benefit-
cost ratio and calculate the magnitude of net benefits and costs for 
the project. In support of each project for which an applicant seeks 
funding, the applicant should submit a BCA that quantifies the expected 
benefits and costs of the project against a no-build baseline. 
Applicants should use a real discount rate (i.e., the discount rate net 
of the inflation rate) of 7 percent per year to discount streams of 
benefits and costs to their present value in their BCA.
    The primary economic benefits from projects eligible for INFRA 
grants are likely to include savings in travel time costs, vehicle 
operating costs, and safety costs for both existing users of the 
improved facility and new users who may be attracted to it as a result 
of the project. Reduced damages from vehicle emissions and savings in 
maintenance costs to public agencies may also be quantified. Applicants 
may describe other categories of benefits in the BCA that are more 
difficult to quantify and value in economic terms, such as improving 
the reliability of travel times or improvements to the existing human 
and natural environments (such as increased connectivity, improved 
public health, storm water runoff mitigation, and noise reduction), 
while also providing numerical estimates of the magnitude and timing of 
each of these additional impacts wherever possible. Any benefits 
claimed for the project, both quantified and unquantified, should be 
clearly tied to the expected outcomes of the project.
    The BCA should include the full costs of developing, constructing, 
operating, and maintaining the proposed project (including both 
previously incurred and future costs), as well as the expected timing 
or schedule for costs in each of these categories. The BCA may also 
consider the present discounted value of any remaining service life of 
the asset at the end of the analysis period (net of future maintenance 
and rehabilitation costs) as a deduction from the estimated costs. The 
costs and benefits that are compared in the BCA should also cover the 
same project scope.
    The BCA should carefully document the assumptions and methodology 
used to produce the analysis, including a description of the baseline, 
the sources of data used to project the outcomes of the project, and 
the values of key input parameters. Applicants should provide all 
relevant files used for their BCA, including any spreadsheet files and 
technical memos describing the analysis (whether created in-house or by 
a contractor). The spreadsheets and technical memos should present the 
calculations in sufficient detail and transparency to allow the 
analysis to be reproduced by USDOT evaluators. Detailed guidance for 
estimating some types of quantitative benefits and costs, together with 
recommended economic values for converting them to dollar terms and 
discounting to their present values, are available in the Department's 
guidance for conducting BCAs for projects seeking funding under the 
INFRA program (see https://www.transportation.gov/office-policy/transportation-policy/benefit-cost-analysis-guidance).
    Applicants for freight projects within the boundaries of a freight 
rail, water (including ports), or intermodal facility should also 
quantify the benefits of their proposed projects for freight movements 
on the National Highway Freight Network, and should demonstrate that 
the Federal share of the project funds only elements of the project 
that provide public benefits.

3. Unique Entity Identifier and System for Award Management (SAM)

    Each applicant must: (1) Be registered in SAM before submitting its 
application; (2) provide a valid unique entity identifier in its 
application; and (3) continue to maintain an active SAM registration 
with current information at all times during which it has an active 
Federal award or an application or plan under consideration by a 
Federal awarding agency. The Department may not make an INFRA grant to 
an applicant until the applicant has complied with all applicable 
unique entity identifier and SAM requirements and, if an applicant has 
not fully complied with the requirements by the time the Department is 
ready to make an INFRA grant, the Department may determine that the 
applicant is not qualified to receive an INFRA grant and use that 
determination as a basis for making an INFRA grant to another 
applicant.

4. Submission Dates and Timelines

a. Deadline
    Applications must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. EST February 25, 2020. 
The Grants.gov ``Apply'' function will open by January 15, 2020.
    To submit an application through Grants.gov, applicants must:
    (1) Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number:
    (2) Register with the System Award for Management (SAM) at 
www.sam.gov; and
    (3) Create a Grants.gov username and password;
    (4) The E-business Point of Contact (POC) at the applicant's 
organization must also respond to the registration email from 
Grants.gov and login at Grants.gov to authorize the POC as an 
Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note that there 
can only be one AOR per organization.
    Please note that the Grants.gov registration process usually takes 
2-4 weeks to complete and that the Department will not consider late 
applications that are the result of failure to register or comply with 
Grants.gov applicant requirements in a timely manner. For information 
and instruction on each of these processes, please see instructions at 
http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-faqs.html. If 
interested parties experience difficulties at any point during the 
registration or application process, please call the Grants.gov 
Customer Service Support Hotline at 1(800) 518-4726, Monday-Friday from 
7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. EST.
b. Consideration of Application
    Only applicants who comply with all submission deadlines described 
in this notice and submit applications through Grants.gov will be 
eligible for award. Applicants are strongly encouraged to make 
submissions in advance of the deadline.
c. Late Applications
    Applications received after the deadline will not be considered 
except in the case of unforeseen technical difficulties outlined in 
Section D.4.d.

[[Page 3756]]

d. Late Application Policy
    Applicants experiencing technical issues with Grants.gov that are 
beyond the applicant's control must contact INFRAgrants@dot.gov prior 
to the application deadline with the user name of the registrant and 
details of the technical issue experienced. The applicant must provide:
    (1) Details of the technical issue experienced;
    (2) Screen capture(s) of the technical issues experienced along 
with corresponding Grants.gov ``Grant tracking number'';
    (3) The ``Legal Business Name'' for the applicant that was provided 
in the SF-424;
    (4) The AOR name submitted in the SF-424;
    (5) The DUNS number associated with the application; and
    (6) The Grants.gov Help Desk Tracking Number.
    To ensure a fair competition of limited discretionary funds, the 
following conditions are not valid reasons to permit late submissions: 
(1) Failure to complete the registration process before the deadline; 
(2) failure to follow Grants.gov instructions on how to register and 
apply as posted on its website; (3) failure to follow all the 
instructions in this notice of funding opportunity; and (4) technical 
issues experienced with the applicant's computer or information 
technology environment. After the Department reviews all information 
submitted and contacts the Grants.gov Help Desk to validate reported 
technical issues, USDOT staff will contact late applicants to approve 
or deny a request to submit a late application through Grants.gov. If 
the reported technical issues cannot be validated, late applications 
will be rejected as untimely.

E. Application Review Information

1. Criteria

a. Merit Criteria
    The Department will consider the extent to which the project 
addresses the follow criteria, which are explained in greater detail 
below and reflect the key program objectives described in Section A.2: 
(1) Support for national or regional economic vitality; (2) leveraging 
of Federal funding; (3) potential for innovation; and (4) performance 
and accountability. The Department is neither weighting these criteria 
nor requiring that each application address every criterion, but the 
Department expects that competitive applications will substantively 
address all four criteria.
Criterion #1: Support for National or Regional Economic Vitality
    The Department will consider the extent to which a project would 
support the economic vitality of either the nation or a region. To the 
extent possible, the Department will rely on quantitative, data-
supported analysis to assess how well a project addresses this 
criterion, including an assessment of the applicant-supplied benefit-
cost analysis described in Section D.2.d. In addition to considering 
the anticipated outcomes of the project that align with this criterion, 
the Department will consider estimates of the project's benefit-cost 
ratio and net quantifiable benefits.
    Based on the Department's assessment, the Department will group 
projects into ranges based on their estimated benefit costs ratio (BCR) 
and net present value (NPV), and assign a level of confidence 
associated with each project's assigned BCR and NPV ratings. The 
Department will use these ranges for BCR: Less than 1; 1-1.5; 1.5-3; 
and greater than 3. The Department will use these ranges for NPV: Less 
than $0; $0- $50,000,000; $50,000,000-$250,000,000; and greater than 
$250,000,000. The confidence levels are high, medium, and low.
    Projects which primarily serve freight and goods movement play an 
important role in supporting economic vitality. Accordingly, the 
Department anticipates awarding some INFRA funding to projects which 
primarily serve freight and goods movement to advance the objective of 
supporting national and regional economic vitality.
Criterion #2: Leveraging of Federal Funding
    To maximize the impact of INFRA awards, the Department seeks to 
leverage INFRA funding with non-Federal contributions. To evaluate this 
criterion, the Department will assign a rating to each project based on 
how the calculated non-Federal share of the project's future eligible 
project costs compares with other projects proposed for INFRA funding. 
The Department will sort large and small project applications' non-
Federal leverage percentage from high to low, and the assigned ratings 
will be based on quintile: projects in the 80th percentile and above 
receive the highest rating; the 60th-79th percentile receive the second 
highest rating; 40th-59th, the third highest; 20th-39th, the fourth 
highest; and 0-19th, the lowest rating.
    USDOT recognizes that applicants have varying abilities and 
resources to contribute non-Federal contributions. If an applicant 
describes broader fiscal constraints that affect its ability to 
generate or draw on non-Federal contributions, the Department may 
consider those constraints. Relevant constraints may include the size 
of the population taxed to supply the matching funds, the wealth of 
that population, or other constraints on the raising of funds. In 
addition, the Department may consider whether there are obstacles to 
collecting non-Federal revenue from a project's beneficiaries, 
including the extent to which a project's beneficiaries reside in the 
sponsor's jurisdiction.
    This evaluation criterion is separate from the statutory cost share 
requirements for INFRA grants, which are described in Section C.2. 
Those statutory requirements establish the minimum permissible non-
Federal share; they do not define a competitive INFRA project. Unlike 
how the Department evaluates cost share for eligibility purposes (as 
described in section C.2 of this notice), for the purposes of 
evaluating leverage as a competitive selection criterion, the 
Department will consider the proceeds of Federal assistance under 
chapter 6 of Title 23, United States Code or sections 501 through 504 
of the Railroad and Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act of 1976 
(Pub. L. 94-210), as amended, to be part of the Federal share of 
project costs. Applications that require other discretionary funding 
from the Department to complete the project's funding package will be 
considered less competitive.
Criterion #3: Potential for Innovation
    The Department seeks to use the INFRA program to encourage 
innovation in three areas: (1) The accelerated deployment of innovative 
technology and expanded access to broadband; (2) use of innovative 
permitting, contracting, and other project delivery practices; and (3) 
innovative financing. The project will be assigned an innovation rating 
based on how it cumulatively addresses these areas. Applications that 
address at least two of these three areas will be assigned a high 
rating. Applications that address one of these areas will be assigned a 
medium rating. Applications that address none of these areas will be 
assigned a low rating.
    In Innovation Area #1: Technology, the application will be 
determined to have addressed the Technology Innovation Area if the 
INFRA project incorporates any of the following:
     Conflict detection and mitigation technologies (e.g., 
intersection alerts, signal prioritization, or smart traffic signals);

[[Page 3757]]

     Dynamic signaling or pricing systems to reduce congestion;
     Signage and design features that facilitate autonomous or 
semi-autonomous vehicle technologies;
     Applications to automatically capture and report safety-
related issues (e.g., identifying and documenting near-miss incidents);
     V2X Technologies (e.g., technology that facilitates 
passing of information between a vehicle and any entity that may affect 
the vehicle);
     Cybersecurity elements to protect safety-critical systems;
     Technology at land and sea ports of entry that reduces 
congestion, wait times, and delays, while maintaining or enhancing the 
integrity of our border;
     Work Zone data exchanges or related data exchanges
     Other Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) that 
directly benefit the project's users.
    The application will also address the Technology Innovation Area if 
the project facilitates broadband deployment and the installation of 
high-speed networks concurrent with project construction. The 
Department is particularly interested in broadband deployment in rural 
areas, per Presidential Executive Order 13821 Streamlining and 
Expediting Requests to Locate Broadband Facilities in Rural America.
    In Innovation Area #2: Project Delivery, the Department will assess 
whether the applicant intends to pursue an innovative strategy to 
improve project delivery. These strategies will result in more 
efficient project implementation. Some of these strategies may require 
the use of a SEP-14 or SEP-15 waiver, but many do not: An application 
can address this innovation area without requiring a waiver. Examples 
of innovative project delivery include:

 Contracting/Procurement:
    [cir] Indefinite Quantity/Indefinite Delivery Contracting
    [cir] Alternative Pavement Type Bidding
    [cir] No Excuse Bonuses
    [cir] Lump Sum Bidding
    [cir] Best Value Procurement
    [cir] System Integrator Contracts
    [cir] Progressive Design-Build
    [cir] P3 DBFOM Procurements
 Environmental Requirements
    [cir] NEPA/Section 404 Merger
    [cir] Use of Permitting/Authorization Agency Liaisons
    [cir] Establishment of State/Local ``One-Stop-Shop'' for Permitting
    [cir] Programmatic Agreements
 Every Day Counts Initiative
    [cir] Use of proven technologies and innovations to shorten and 
enhance project delivery listed at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/edc_innovation.cfm

    Finally, in Innovation Area #3, Innovative Financing, the 
Department will consider if the project financial plan incorporates 
funding or financing from innovative sources, or if the applicant 
describes recent or pending efforts to raise significant new revenue 
for transportation investment across its program.
    Examples of innovative sources in a financial plan include:

 Private Sector contributions, excluding donated right-of-way, 
amounting to at least $5 million,
 Revenue from the competitive sale or lease of publicly owned 
or operated asset, or
 Financing supported by direct project user fees

    Examples of significant new revenue--provided it is dedicated to 
transportation investment across an applicant's program--include:

 Revenue resulting from recent or pending increases to sales or 
fuel taxes
 Revenue resulting from the recent or pending implementation of 
tolling
 Revenue resulting from the recent or pending adoption of value 
capture strategies such as tax-increment financing
 Revenue resulting from the recent or pending competitive sale 
or lease of publicly owned or operated assets
Criterion #4: Performance and Accountability
    The Department encourages applicants to describe a credible plan to 
address the full lifecycle costs associated with the project and 
implement an accountability measure as described in Section A.2.d of 
this NOFO.
    A credible plan to address full lifecycle costs should include, at 
a minimum, (1) an estimate of the lifecycle costs of the project; (2) 
an identified source of funding that will be sufficient to pay for 
operation and maintenance of the project; and (3) a description of 
controls in place to ensure the identified funding will not be diverted 
away from operation and maintenance. Examples of such controls include 
if a private sector entity is contractually obligated to maintain the 
project, if a project sponsor has a demonstrated history of fully 
funding maintenance on its assets, or if the sponsor describes an asset 
management plan or strategy.
    Applicants intending to address the accountability measure portion 
of this criterion should describe how they meet at least one of the 
three options below:
    (1) The applicant should agree to meet a specific construction 
start and completion date, detailed in the application. If the project 
sponsor does not meet these deadlines, the project will be subject to 
forfeit or return of up to 10% of the awarded funds, or $10 million, 
whichever is lower.
    (2) The applicant should propose a specific indicator of project 
success that will be evident within 12 months of project completion. 
The indicator should relate to a benefit estimated in the BCA (e.g., 
travel time savings), and the level of performance should be consistent 
with the estimates in the BCA. If the project fails to produce this 
specific outcome in the time allotted, it will be subject to forfeit or 
return of up to 10% of the awarded funds, or $10 million, whichever is 
lower.
    The project will be assigned a Performance and Accountability 
rating based on how it addresses these areas. Applications that address 
both lifecycle costs and accountability measures will receive a high 
rating. Applications that address either lifecycle costs or 
accountability measures, but not both, will receive a medium rating. 
Applications that address neither area will receive a low rating.
b. Additional Considerations
i. Geographic Diversity
    By statute, when selecting INFRA projects, the Department must 
consider contributions to geographic diversity among recipients, 
including the need for a balance between the needs of rural and urban 
communities. However, the Department also recognizes that it can better 
balance the needs of rural and urban communities if it does not take a 
binary view of urban and rural. Accordingly, in addition to considering 
whether a project is ``rural'' as defined by the INFRA statute and 
described in section C.3.e, when balancing the needs of rural and urban 
communities, the Department may consider the actual population of the 
community that each project is located in.
    The Department will also consider whether the project is located in 
a qualified opportunity zone, pursuant to 26 U.S.C. 1400Z-1. A project 
located in a qualified opportunity zone is more competitive than a 
similar project that is not located in a qualified opportunity zone.
ii. Project Readiness
    During application evaluation, the Department considers project 
readiness in two ways: To assess the likelihood of

[[Page 3758]]

successful project delivery and to confirm that a project will satisfy 
statutory readiness requirements.
    First, the Department will consider significant risks to successful 
completion of a project, including risks associated with environmental 
review, permitting, technical feasibility, funding, and the applicant's 
capacity to manage project delivery. Risks do not disqualify projects 
from award, but competitive applications clearly and directly describe 
achievable risk mitigation strategies. A project with mitigated risks 
is more competitive than a comparable project with unaddressed risks.
    Second, by statute, the Department cannot award a large project 
unless that project is reasonably expected to begin construction within 
18 months of obligation of funds for the project. Obligation occurs 
when a selected applicant enters a written, project-specific agreement 
with the Department and is generally after the applicant has satisfied 
applicable administrative requirements, including transportation 
planning and environmental review requirements. Depending on the nature 
of pre-construction activities included in the awarded project, the 
Department may obligate funds in phases. Preliminary engineering and 
right-of-way acquisition activities, such as environmental review, 
design work, and other preconstruction activities, do not fulfill the 
requirement to begin construction within 18 months of obligation for 
large projects. By statute, INFRA funds must be obligated within three 
years of the end of the fiscal year for which they are authorized. 
Therefore, for awards with FY 2020 funds, the Department will determine 
that large projects with an anticipated obligation date beyond 
September 30, 2023 are not reasonably expected to begin construction 
within 18 months of obligation.
iii. Previous Awards
    The Department may consider whether the project has previously 
received an award from the BUILD, INFRA, or other departmental 
discretionary grant programs.

2. Review and Selection Process

    The USDOT will review all eligible applications received before the 
application deadline. The INFRA process consists of a Technical 
Evaluation phase and Senior Review. In the Technical Evaluation phase, 
teams will, for each project, determine whether the project satisfies 
statutory requirements and rate how well it addresses the selection 
criteria. The Senior Review Team will consider the applications and the 
technical evaluations to determine which projects to advance to the 
Secretary for consideration. The Secretary will ultimately select the 
projects for award. A Quality Control and Oversight Team will ensure 
consistency across project evaluations and appropriate documentation 
throughout the review and selection process.

3. Additional Information

    Prior to award, each selected applicant will be subject to a risk 
assessment as required by 2 CFR 200.205. The Department must review and 
consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated 
integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently the 
Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS)). 
An applicant may review information in FAPIIS and comment on any 
information about itself. The Department will consider comments by the 
applicant, in addition to the other information in FAPIIS, in making a 
judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record 
of performance under Federal awards when completing the review of risk 
posed by applicants.

F. Federal Award Administration Information

1. Federal Award Notices

    Following the evaluation outlined in Section E, the Secretary will 
announce awarded projects by posting a list of selected projects at 
https://www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/INFRAgrants. Following the 
announcement, the Department will contact the point of contact listed 
in the SF 424 to initiate negotiation of a project-specific agreement.

2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

a. Safety Requirements
    The Department will require INFRA projects to meet two general 
requirements related to safety. First, INFRA projects must be part of a 
thoughtful, data-driven approach to safety. Each State maintains a 
strategic highway safety plan.\7\ INFRA projects will be required to 
incorporate appropriate elements that respond to priority areas 
identified in that plan and are likely to yield safety benefits. 
Second, INFRA projects will incorporate appropriate safety-related 
activities that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has 
identified as ``proven safety countermeasures'' due to their history of 
demonstrated effectiveness.\8\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \7\ Information on State-specific strategic highway safety plans 
is available at https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/shsp/other_resources.cfm.
    \8\ Information on FHWA proven safety countermeasures is 
available at: https://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/provencountermeasures/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After selecting INFRA recipients, the Department will work with 
those recipients on a project-by-project basis to determine the 
specific safety requirements that are appropriate for each award.
b. Other Administrative and Policy Requirements
    All INFRA awards will be administered pursuant to the Uniform 
Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for 
Federal Awards found in 2 CFR part 200, as adopted by USDOT at 2 CFR 
part 1201. A project carried out under the INFRA program will be 
treated as if the project is located on a Federal-aid highway. 
Additionally, applicable Federal laws, rules and regulations of the 
relevant operating administration administering the project will apply 
to the projects that receive INFRA grants, including planning 
requirements, Stakeholder Agreements, and other requirements under the 
Department's other highway, transit, rail, and port grant programs. For 
an illustrative list of the applicable laws, rules, regulations, 
executive orders, policies, guidelines, and requirements as they relate 
to an INFRA grant, please see http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/Freight/infrastructure/nsfhp/fy2016_gr_exhbt_c/index.htm.
    As expressed in Executive Orders 13788 of April 18, 2017 and 13858 
of January 31, 2019, it is the policy of the executive branch to 
maximize, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and 
materials produced in the United States in the terms and conditions of 
Federal financial assistance awards. All INFRA projects are subject to 
the Buy America requirement at 23 U.S.C. 313. The Department expects 
all INFRA applicants to comply with that requirement without needing a 
waiver. To obtain a waiver, a recipient must be prepared to demonstrate 
how they will maximize the use of domestic goods, products, and 
materials in constructing their project.
    The applicability of Federal requirements to a project may be 
affected by the scope of the NEPA reviews for that project. For 
example, under 23 U.S.C. 313(g), Buy America requirements apply to all 
contracts that

[[Page 3759]]

are eligible for assistance under title 23, United States Code, and are 
carried out within the scope of the NEPA finding, determination, or 
decision regardless of the funding source of such contracts if at least 
one contract is funded with Title 23 funds.
    In connection with any program or activity conducted with or 
benefiting from funds awarded under this notice, recipients of funds 
must comply with all applicable requirements of Federal law, including, 
without limitation, the Constitution of the United States; the 
conditions of performance, nondiscrimination requirements, and other 
assurances made applicable to the award of funds in accordance with 
regulations of the Department of Transportation; and applicable Federal 
financial assistance and contracting principles promulgated by the 
Office of Management and Budget. In complying with these requirements, 
recipients, in particular, must ensure that no concession agreements 
are denied or other contracting decisions made on the basis of speech 
or other activities protected by the First Amendment. If the Department 
determines that a recipient has failed to comply with applicable 
Federal requirements, the Department may terminate the award of funds 
and disallow previously incurred costs, requiring the recipient to 
reimburse any expended award funds.
    INFRA projects involving vehicle acquisition must involve only 
vehicles that comply with applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety 
Standards and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations, or vehicles 
that are exempt from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Standards or Federal 
Motor Carrier Safety Regulations in a manner that allows for the legal 
acquisition and deployment of the vehicle or vehicles.

3. Reporting

a. Progress Reporting on Grant Activity
    Each applicant selected for an INFRA grant must submit the Federal 
Financial Report (SF-425) on the financial condition of the project and 
the project's progress, as well as an Annual Budget Review and Program 
Plan to monitor the use of Federal funds and ensure accountability and 
financial transparency in the INFRA program.
b. Reporting of Matters Related to Integrity and Performance
    If the total value of a selected applicant's currently active 
grants, cooperative agreements, and procurement contracts from all 
Federal awarding agencies exceeds $10,000,000 for any period of time 
during the period of performance of this Federal award, then the 
applicant during that period of time must maintain the currency of 
information reported to the System for Award Management (SAM) that is 
made available in the designated integrity and performance system 
(currently the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information 
System (FAPIIS)) about civil, criminal, or administrative proceedings 
described in paragraph 2 of this award term and condition. This is a 
statutory requirement under section 872 of Public Law 110-417, as 
amended (41 U.S.C. 2313). As required by section 3010 of Public Law 
111-212, all information posted in the designated integrity and 
performance system on or after April 15, 2011, except past performance 
reviews required for Federal procurement contracts, will be publicly 
available.

G. Federal Awarding Agency Contacts

    For further information concerning this notice, please contact the 
Office of the Secretary via email at INFRAgrants@dot.gov. For other 
INFRA program questions, please contact Paul Baumer at (202) 366-1092. 
A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 
202-366-3993. In addition, up to the application deadline, the 
Department will post answers to common questions and requests for 
clarifications on USDOT's website at https://www.transportation.gov/buildamerica/INFRAgrants. To ensure applicants receive accurate 
information about eligibility or the program, the applicant is 
encouraged to contact USDOT directly, rather than through 
intermediaries or third parties, with questions. DOT staff may also 
conduct briefings on the BUILD Transportation grant selection and award 
process upon request.

H. Other Information

1. Protection of Confidential Business Information

    All information submitted as part of, or in support of, any 
application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made 
public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and 
standards, to the extent possible. If the application includes 
information the applicant considers to be a trade secret or 
confidential commercial or financial information, the applicant should 
do the following: (1) Note on the front cover that the submission 
``Contains Confidential Business Information (CBI)''; (2) mark each 
affected page ``CBI''; and (3) highlight or otherwise denote the CBI 
portions.
    The Department protects such information from disclosure to the 
extent allowed under applicable law. In the event the Department 
receives a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the 
information, USDOT will follow the procedures described in its FOIA 
regulations at 49 CFR 7.17. Only information that is ultimately 
determined to be confidential under that procedure will be exempt from 
disclosure under FOIA.

2. Publication of Application Information

    Following the completion of the selection process and announcement 
of awards, the Department intends to publish a list of all applications 
received along with the names of the applicant organizations and 
funding amounts requested. Except for the information properly marked 
as described in Section H.1., the Department may make application 
narratives publicly available or share application information within 
the Department or with other Federal agencies if the Department 
determines that sharing is relevant to the respective program's 
objectives.

3. Department Feedback on Applications

    The Department strives to provide as much information as possible 
to assist applicants with the application process. The Department will 
not review applications in advance, but Department staff are available 
for technical questions and assistance. To efficiently use Department 
resources, the Department will prioritize interactions with applicants 
who have not already received a debrief on their FY 2019 INFRA 
application. Program staff will address questions to 
INFRAgrants@dot.gov throughout the application period.

    Issued in Washington, DC, on January 13, 2020.
Elaine L. Chao,
Secretary of Transportation.
[FR Doc. 2020-00925 Filed 1-21-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-9X-P

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