Providing Funds For Corridor and Border Infrastructure Projects
U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced that $121.8 million in grants would be provided to 29 states for 65 projects as part of the National Corridor Planning and Development and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure programs for fiscal 2000.
"Investing wisely in transportation will improve safety, increase efficiency and strengthen the economy," Vice President Gore said. "These projects will provide long- and short-term jobs for hard-working Americans and allow for future economic expansion."
The National Corridor Planning and Development Program and the Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program are authorized by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), the surface transportation law that President Clinton signed on June 9, 1998.
Both the corridor and the border programs provide the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) authority to allocate dollars to states and metropolitan planning organizations (MPO). The programs provided $123.6 million in fiscal 1999, will provide $121.8 million to states in fiscal 2000 and can provide up to $140 million each year over the last three fiscal years (2001-2003) of TEA-21.
"These funds will help to provide safer and more efficient movement of people and goods throughout the United States and help enhance the flow of commerce at key border points with our neighbors in Canada and Mexico," Secretary Slater said. "These projects underscore our continuing emphasis on safety, the Clinton-Gore Administration's highest transportation priority."
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), an agency within DOT, received about 150 funding requests for projects totaling about $2 billion. FHWA received a similar number of requests for fiscal 1999 funds. All applications were found to be at least partly eligible for funding, making the selection process extremely difficult.
Under the corridor program, the Department established TEA-21-based criteria for states and MPOs to apply for discretionary funds. Projects could be for any of the 21 high-priority corridors identified in the Intermodal Surface Transportation and Efficiency Act of 1991, the eight added in the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995, the 14 added in TEA-21, and other significant corridors based on factors specified in the TEA-21 statute.
The border program aims to improve border infrastructure and transportation telecommunications to facilitate the safe and efficient movement of people and goods at or across the U.S.-Canada and the U.S.-Mexico borders. Criteria under which the department could fund applications include reduction in travel time through a major international facility, potential for improvements in border crossing vehicle safety and cargo security, and the applicability of innovative techniques and technology to other border crossing facilities.
The grants apply to highway, rail and intermodal projects and demonstrate that states and localities are using multimodal solutions to transportation challenges, ensuring that the U.S. transportation system can meet the trade and transportation demands of the 21st century safely and efficiently.
For additional information about "borders and corridors" including a map of high priority corridors, visit the FHWA website at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/corbor/index.cfm.
The fiscal 2000 National Corridor Planning and Development Program and Coordinated Border Infrastructure Program grant recipients, by state, project and total allocation, are listed at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/planning/corbor/2000/recip00.cfm.