California High-Speed Rail and Atlanta Metro Among Projects Winning Federal Infrastructure Grants
An upgrade to Atlanta’s busiest subway station, continued construction of California’s high-speed rail project and a new marine terminal in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands have all received grants from the plan. $1.2 trillion federal infrastructure.
A total of 166 public transport, commercial navigation, public parks and electric vehicle support projects have been awarded grants last week by the US Department of Transportation. The $2.2 billion represents this year’s allocation from the expanded federal planalso known as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
Grants were capped at $25 million per project and were awarded in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands. The winning projects are located in urban, suburban and rural areas and touch on everything from replacing worn bridges to building new ocean levees.
Some grants have been designed to help boost economically distressed areas, such as $25 million to replace the 70-year-old Wilcox Boulevard Bridge in a section of Chattanooga, Tennessee.
“The deterioration … of the bridge has reduced access to essential services for some of Chattanooga’s most vulnerable neighborhoods,” Tennessee State Representative Yusuf Hakeem said at a Friday event announcing the grant.
Other projects will support nearby economic development projects. The Atlanta Transit Agency has received a $25 million federal grant to renovate Five Points, the city’s busiest subway station. Five Points is the only connecting station between MARTA’s north-south and east-west rail lines. About 60,000 runners cross it daily.
MARTA will spend a total of $200 million to remove a concrete canopy that covers most of Five Points Station dating from 1979 and improve passenger access to trains and buses.
Traffic is expected to increase significantly at Five Points as three major mixed-use projects are underway in downtown Atlanta: CIM Group’s $5 billion Centenary course; from Newport South of the South; and the rebirth of Lalani Ventures from underground atlanta.
Many grants have been awarded to Native American tribes. A $22 million grant has been approved for the Qawalangin Tribe of Unalaska in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands to build a new dock and container storage yard at their Pacific Ocean port.
In California, a $25 million grant will allow the state to extend construction of its high-speed rail line from Fresno in Merced. Construction is underway on parts of the $113 billion project, which will eventually link Sacramento, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Other grants announced last week include:
- $25 million for safety improvements at auto-rail crossings along the Brightline freight and passenger lines on Florida’s southeast Atlantic coast.
- $25 million to build 40 miles of the Flint Hills Trail in eastern Kansas.
- $25 million to replace an interchange on Interstate 95 in Bangor, Maine.
- $25 million to build a four-lane road, seawall and boardwalk along the Charlotte Amalie waterfront in the US Virgin Islands.
- $21 million to expand and modernize the New Carrollton Rail and Bus Station in Hyattsville, Maryland, creating easier connections between commuter rail, heavy rail and bus routes.
- $20 million to build a bicycle-pedestrian bridge over the Potomac River connecting Arlington, Virginia, and Washington, DC
- $16 million to improve streets, sidewalks and bike lanes in downtown Wheeling, West Virginia.
- $8 million to build a new seawall in Sitka, Alaska to support the area’s commercial fishing industry.
- $3 million to replace a floating swing bridge on Bayou Lafourche in Louisiana.