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2012 Discretionary Grant Programs

This collection of information is required under the proposed implementation plan of Section 5202 (b) of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act:  A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) for the Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment (IBRD) Program.  The FHWA is soliciting applications and proposals for eligible candidate projects from State transportation agencies that specially address the construction of bridges using innovative designs, materials, and construction methods.  Public reporting burden is estimated to average 1 hour per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, and inputting existing data sources.Information provided will be used only for assessing project awards and for administering the IBRD Program.  The information will be treated as non-confidential.  Please note that an agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.  The OMB control number for this collection is 2125-0612.  This collection will expire on April 30, 2013.  Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to: Information Collection Clearance Officer, Federal Highway Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program - Selection Criteria and Additional Information

Statutory References

SAFETEA-LU Section 5202(b); 23 U.S.C. § 503(b)

Program Summary

The Innovative Bridge Research and Deployment Program (IBRD) provides funding for the promotion, demonstration, evaluation, and documentation of the application of innovative designs, materials, and construction methods in the construction, repair, and rehabilitation of bridges and other highway structures.  States are eligible for IBRD Program discretionary grants.


Funded by contract authority; funds are not transferable.  Funds are subject to the overall Federal-aid highway obligation limitation.  Funds are to be allocated by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to States.

Federal Share

The Federal share of the cost of a project under this section shall be determined by the Secretary of Transportation.

Eligible Use of Funds

Funds may be used for costs of preliminary engineering, repair, rehabilitation, or construction of bridges or other highway structures, and costs of project performance evaluation and performance monitoring of the structure following construction.

The project may be on any public roadway, including State and locally funded projects. 

Statutory Selection Criteria

Applications will be evaluated based on whether the proposed projects meet the goals of the program, which include:

  1. The development of new, cost-effective, innovative highway bridge applications;
  2. The development of construction techniques to increase safety and reduce construction time and traffic congestion;
  3. The development of engineering design criteria for innovative products, materials, and structural systems for use in highway bridges and structures;
  4. The reduction of maintenance costs and life-cycle costs of bridges, including costs of new construction, replacement or rehabilitation of deficient bridges;
  5. The development of highway bridges and structures that will withstand natural disasters;
  6. The documentation and wide dissemination of objective evaluations of the performance and benefits of these innovative designs, materials, and construction methods;
  7. The effective transfer of resulting information and technology; and
  8. The development of improved methods to detect bridge scour and economical bridge foundation designs that will withstand bridge scour.

Project Selection Criteria

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)  has not established regulatory criteria for the selection of IBRD projects; however, FHWA will use the following criteria in the evaluation of candidates for this program: 

  1. Projects that promote innovative technologies and/or construction techniques supporting Accelerated Bridge Construction;
  2. Projects that will promote the use of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Integrated Bridge System (GRS-IBS), in line with FHWA’s Every Day Counts (EDC) Initiative on Accelerating Technology & Innovation Deployment;
  3. Projects that demonstrate documentation and wide dissemination of objective evaluations of the performance and benefits of innovative designs, materials, and construction methods;
  4. Projects that will be ready for construction by Fiscal Year (FY) 2014; and

In addition, the FHWA may consider:

  1. State priorities – For States that submit more than one project application, consideration is also given to the individual State’s priorities if specified;
  2. Technology and/or processes developed will likely be put in standard practice by the State;
  3. Project will help in removing barriers to the use of the innovative technologies that will lead to accelerated mainstreaming;
  4. Project/s that leverages Federal funds with other public or private resources; and
  5. Likelihood of having a lasting national impact.

Please also note:

Policy Consideration

Restoring economic health and creating jobs through improvements to transportation infrastructure are among the highest priorities of the FHWA.   In furtherance of these priorities, the FHWA will give priority consideration to projects and activities that create new jobs in the short-term and contribute to the economic competitiveness of the United States over the long-term.  Applicants are encouraged to explain how their project will contribute to increased employment and enhance economic competitiveness. 

In addition to a project’s transportation and economic benefits, when allocating funds to carry out the FY 2012 discretionary programs, the FHWA will also give consideration to providing an equitable and geographic distribution of funds.

Submission Requirements

Applications are due from the State departments of transportation (State DOT) to the FHWA division offices by January 6, 2012. 

The State DOTs should coordinate with local and Federal agencies, universities and colleges, private sector entities, and nonprofit organizations within their respective State in order to develop viable candidate projects. 

The following information should be included in the application to properly evaluate the candidate projects.  Those applications that do not include this information will be considered incomplete and will be rejected.  Applications are to be submitted electronically to the appropriate FHWA division office in Microsoft WORD or PDF format.

Note:  Additional information on project applications can be submitted electronically through the FHWA division office, if needed.

Announcement of Awards / Allocation of Funds

After the applications are received and projects are selected for funding, it is required that Congress be notified before the funds are allocated to the States.  When this congressional notification process is completed, the Office of Infrastructure will issue an announcement by email to all FHWA division offices, announcing the IBRD projects that will be funded and the amount of funding for each project.

At that time, States may request that funds be allocated for any projects for which the funds are ready to be obligated.  The State DOT shall send an email to the FHWA division office indicating the project, the amount requested for allocation, and the date by which the funds will be obligated.  The Office of Infrastructure will issue the allocation memorandum within a few days of receiving the allocation request from the division office.

FHWA Point of Contact

Raj Ailaney, P.E.
Senior Bridge Engineer – IBRD Program Manager
Office of Bridge Technology
(202) 366-6749

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