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CAGTC calls for billions in federal freight infrastructure grants


The Coalition for America's Gateways & Trade Corridors (CAGTC) is calling on Congress to approve a minimum federal investment of $12 billion annually to support the nation's freight infrastructure through a multimodal competitive grant program.

Experience has shown that grant programs such as the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) and Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) spur innovation and creative funding and financing arrangements that leverage the federal dollar, CAGTC officials said in a press release.

Because of their size, scale, multimodal and multijurisdictional nature, such projects can be difficult to fund through traditional federal programs, they said.

The coalition used national Infrastructure Week to highlight the needs of the nation's freight infrastructure.

"Years of underinvestment in our national freight systems has led to increased congestion and transportation costs, which pose a threat to U.S. competitiveness,” said CAGTC President Leslie Blakey. "Dedicated competitive grants are critical to funding large-scale freight infrastructure projects."

Existing grant programs are oversubscribed, coalition officials said. In the combined fiscal years 2017 and 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation received $12 in unique requests for every $1 available in the INFRA grant program.

All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico have submitted applications to the program, demonstrating freight infrastructure needs across the nation, according to CAGTC.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 5/15/2019