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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is accepting applications for fiscal-year 2015-16 allocations under the Multimodal Transportation Fund from interested parties that are developing infrastructure improvement projects.Eligible program participants include municipalities, counties, school districts, businesses, nonprofit organizations, economic development groups, public transportation agencies, transportation management associations, ports and freight-rail entities. Applications are due Sept. 24.For FY2015-16, PennDOT has $40 million available in grants, $35 million of which must be allocated for highway and/or bridge projects. The Multimodal Transportation Fund was created last year by Act 89."We want to ensure the benefits of Act 89, Pennsylvania's far-reaching transportation plan, reach as many communities as possible," said PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch in a press release.PennDOT will evaluate the applications and determine FY2015-16 grant recipients based on such criteria as safety benefits, regional economic conditions, technical and financial feasibility, job creation, energy efficiency and operational sustainability.The department plans to announce FY2014-15 grant recipients in fall. PennDOT received 180 applications for the multimodal funds, including requests from CSX Transportation, Norfolk Southern Railway, Buffalo & Pittsburgh Railroad Inc., Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad Co., Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad, Union Railroad, the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority and Port Authority of Allegheny County. Parties that previously submitted an application for FY2014-15 funds do not need to reapply for FY2015-16 because their applications will automatically be reconsidered if they aren't selected to receive FY2014-15 funding, PennDOT officials said.