Description: U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Bridge Investment Program (BIP), seeking applications for Large Bridge Projects, which have a total eligible project costs greater than $100 million. FHWA will issue a subsequent NOFO for Planning and Bridge Project (total eligible project costs no more than $100 million) Grants at a later date.
The BIP is a discretionary grant program that seeks to reduce the overall number of existing bridges (or culverts) on the National Bridge Inventory that are in poor condition, or in fair condition at risk of falling into poor condition.
Program goals include:
- To improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of people and freight over bridges;
- To improve the condition of bridges in the United States by
- Reducing the number of bridges in poor condition or in fair condition and at risk of falling into poor condition within the next 3 years,
- Reducing the total person miles traveled over bridges in poor condition, or in fair condition and at risk of falling into poor condition within the next 3 years,
- Reducing the number of bridges that do not meet current geometric design standards, or cannot meet the load and traffic requirements typical of the regional transportation network, and
- Reducing the total person miles traveled over bridges that do not meet current geometric design standards, or cannot meet the load and traffic requirements typical of the regional transportation network;
- To provide financial assistance that leverages and encourages non-Federal contributions from sponsors and stakeholders involved in the planning, design, and construction of eligible projects.
U.S. DOT may only award a grant to a Large Bridge Project if two conditions are met:
- The project is reasonably expected to begin construction no later than 18 months after the date on which funds are obligated; and
- Preliminary engineering is complete for the project.
Link to Program Website: https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/bip/
Eligible Applicants: State, Municipalities, CRCOG, Others
Due Dates: FHWA will accept applications on a rolling basis according to the following schedule:
- For FY2023 and FY2024 Funds for Large Bridge Project: November 27, 2023
- For FY2025 Funds: August 1, 2024
- For FY2026 Funds: August 1, 2025
Evaluation Criteria: Large Bridge Project applications for FY 2023 through FY 2026 will be evaluated using six Merit Criteria:
- #1 State of Good Repair
- #2 Safety and Mobility
- #3 Economic Competitiveness and Opportunity
- #4 Climate Change, Sustainability, Resiliency, and the Environment
- #5 Equity and Quality of Life
- #6 Innovation
In addition to the six Merit Criteria, U.S. DOT will use the Merit Criteria to assess how a project will advance U.S. DOT policy areas of safety, reduction in surface transportation greenhouse emissions, increased resilience to climate change, equitable transportation options and access, promoting competitiveness of the U.S. economy, improving job opportunities, and accommodating new emerging technologies.
Economic Analysis Rating: Applications will receive a High Rating if U.S. DOT assesses that the project’s benefits will exceed its costs, with a benefit-cost ratio of at least 1.5. FHWA provides a Benefit-Cost Analysis Tool to assist applicants.
- To better plan and prepare for this grant opportunity, CRCOG has created three static maps and an interactive online map of the region using data obtained from Connecticut Department of Transportation. The maps depict bridges rated in poor or fair condition. Some of the bridges have been allocated funding through state or other programs, while others have not.
- Application Templates from FY 2022:
- Information about FY 2022 BIP (provided for reference and information only):
- Large Bridge Projects awarded $100 million or more were eligible for multiyear grants. Applicants could apply for one, two, or all three categories. US DOT had developed application templates for each category.
- Bridge and Large Bridge projects are statutorily required to begin construction not later than 18 months after the date funds are obligated for the project and preliminary engineering is complete for the project - applying for a Planning Grant or Bridge Project Phased Grant is one tactic to obtain funding for preconstruction activities while meeting this statutory requirement.
- U.S. DOT seeks to fund Bridge and Large Bridge projects that have completed the environmental review process and are ready to proceed to the next stage within 12 months of receiving a Categorical Exclusion Determination, Finding of No Significant Impact or Record of Decision.
- U.S. DOT encourages projects that prioritize safety and implement the Safe System Approach to address safety of all road users, including those who walk, bike, drive, ride transit, and travel by other modes. U.S. DOT also encourages adoption and implementation of Complete Streets policies and strategies in applications.
This summary was developed based on information contained within the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) issued on September 27, 2023.