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U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx yesterday announced $300.3 million in grants to 32 University Transportation Centers (UTC) to advance research and education programs that address critical transportation challenges.The announcement includes awards of up to $72.5 million for fiscal-year 2016. Subsequent awards using funding for fiscal-years 2017-2020 will be subject to availability of funds, according to a U.S. Department of Transportation press release."Our nation faces unprecedented challenges from population growth, a changing climate, and increasing freight volumes. Universities are at the forefront of identifying solutions, researching critical emerging issues, and ensuring improved access to opportunity for all Americans," said Foxx.The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act passed by Congress last year specifies six research priorities that the UTCs selected by the competitive grant process must address: improving mobility of people and goods; reducing congestion; promoting safety; improving the durability and extending the life of transportation infrastructure; preserving the environment; and preserving the existing transportation system.Nine of the grantees selected through the competition are new recipients of UTC Program grants. Last week, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced that one of the grant recipients is the University of Nevada Las Vegas, which will receive $1.4 million to improve rail infrastructure with an emphasis on high-speed rail.For a complete list of the recipients, click here.
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