DOT Has Issued NOFOs for Almost 2/3rds of FY22 IIJA Competitive Funding

As of the close of this week, the U.S. Department of Transportation has made available almost two-thirds of the estimated $24.9 billion in competitive grant funding provided by the bipartisan infrastructure law for 2022 available for grant applications.

Of the $24.9 billion that is to be made available through the traditional “notice of funding opportunity,” or NOFO, process, $15.8 billion has gone out via NOFOs as of today. Of that amount, $6.6 billion (27 percent of the overall total or 42 percent of the amount of NOFOs so far) has been awarded to particular applicants who made successful grant applications.

The actual amount of competitive grant funding made available to DOT is actually higher than this – $27.9 billion – but that includes $3.8 billion provided by the IIJA and the 2022 DOT Appropriations Act for the Capital Investment Grant mass transit programs. Unlike the rest, CIG does not have an annual application and review process – instead, it has an ongoing, multi-year project “pipeline” where projects graduate through stages of development. Therefore, it is a bad comparison to the ongoing status of programs that have annual application and acceptance/rejection cycles.

Of the $9.1 billion in 2022 competitive funding that is still to be made available via NOFO, by far the largest piece is the $7.3 billion provided for the Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail program. This was (and is) a stunning amount of money for a new program, and DOT may decide to split up the program and put part of the money on a CIG-like multi-year, rolling, stages-of-progress track and the rest on an annual NOFO-apply-award track. (If they do so, we will shift our totals to exclude the CIG-like portion of the program from the comparison totals.)

Most of the rest of the money that hasn’t had a NOFO go out yet is at the Federal Highway Administration, where new competitive programs for electric vehicle corridor infrastructure, resilience grants, congestion relief in urban areas, and large wildlife crossings in rural areas are still waiting to be spun up.

Recent activity since the last version of this chart includes:

  • $39 million in selected grants for America’s Marine Highway System (marine cargo movement between U.S. ports), announced October 6.
  • $18.4 million in selected planning grants to state and local governments so they can apply for Bridge Investment Program grants down the road, announced October 12.
  • $300 million (plus another $300 million in FY 2023 funding) for mass transit railcar replacement projects was put out for NOFO on October 12.

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