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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act or "FAST Act"

Fostering Advancements In Shipping And Transportation For The Long-Term Achievement Of National Efficiencies (FASTLANE) Grants

Fiscal year 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Authorization $800 M $ 850 M $ 900 M $ 950 M $1.00 B

Program purpose

The FAST Act establishes the Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program to provide financial assistance—competitive grants, known as FASTLANE grants, or credit assistance—to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects that align with the program goals to—

Statutory citations

FAST Act § 1105; 23 U.S.C. 117

Funding features

Type of budget authority

Contract authority from the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund, subject to the overall Federal-aid obligation limitation.

Set-aside for rural areas

The FAST Act requires DOT to reserve at least 25% of each fiscal year’s FASTLANE grants for projects – either large or small projects – in rural areas, defined as an area outside of a U.S. Census Bureau designated urbanized area with a population of over 200,000. [23 U.S.C. 117(i)]

Federal share

A FASTLANE grant may not exceed 60% of the total eligible project costs.  An additional 20% of project costs may be funded with other Federal assistance, bringing total Federal participation in the project to a maximum of 80%.  There is an exception for projects carried out by Federal land management agencies, which can use Federal funds  other than those made available by titles 23 and 49, United States Code to pay the non-Federal share of the project cost, bringing the total Federal participation up to 100%. [23 U.S.C. 117(j)]

Eligible activities

Project type

The Secretary may provide financial assistance under this program for only the following project types:

Eligible Project Costs

Financial assistance received for a project under this program may be used for—

TIFIA Program

At the request of an eligible FASTLANE grant applicant, the DOT may use FASTLANE amounts awarded to the entity to pay the subsidy and administrative costs necessary to provide the entity Federal credit assistance under the TIFIA program with respect to the project awarded the FASTLANE grant. [23 U.S.C. 117(l)]

Eligible Applicants

Project Cost Thresholds, Grant Award Amounts and Selection Criteria

Large Projects

Project Cost Thresholds

Each fiscal year, 90% of FASTLANE grants are reserved for projects with costs that must be reasonably anticipated to equal or exceed the lesser of—

Grant Award Amounts

For a project meeting the above minimum cost threshold, the grant must be at least $25 million.

Requirements for Selection

The Secretary may select a project that meets or exceeds the above minimum cost threshold only if the Secretary determines that—

When making a FASTLANE grant, the Secretary must also consider the utilization of nontraditional financing, innovative design and construction techniques, innovative technologies, and non-Federal contributions, as well as the contributions to geographic diversity among grant recipients. [23 U.S.C. 117(h)]

The FASTLANE grants Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) describes the application process and provides additional information on how applications are evaluated.

Small Projects

Project Cost Threshold

Each fiscal year, 10% of FASTLANE grants are reserved for projects that do not satisfy the minimum project cost thresholds described above. These are referred to as “small projects.”

Grant Award Amounts

A grant for a small project must be at least $5 million.

Considerations in Selection

In selecting a small project, the Secretary shall consider:

The FASTLANE grants NOFO describes the application process and provides additional information on how applications are evaluated.

Federal Requirements

Applicable Federal laws, rules and regulations will apply to projects that receive an award under this program, including planning, Buy America, Disadvantaged Small Business, and other requirements.

February 2016

Page last modified on February 8, 2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000