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National Infrastructure Investments - Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants

Grants to USA Government Agencies for Local and
Regional Transportation Infrastructure Projects

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U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

Deadline Date:

05/18/20 5:00 PM EDT


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Grants to USA and Territories local, tribal, and state government agencies for projects to improve transportation infrastructure. Applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Eligible projects are those that have a significant regional or local impact. Funding is intended for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. Additionally, DOT will award no less than $15 million (of the $1 billion) for the planning, preparation or design of eligible projects. DOT refers to such awards as BUILD Transportation planning grants.

Throughout the program, these discretionary grant awards have supported projects that have a significant local or regional impact. Like the FY 2017 TIGER program, the FY 2020 BUILD program will also give special consideration to projects which emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness. Consistent with DOT’s R.O.U.T.E.S. initiative, DOT seeks rural projects that address deteriorating conditions and disproportionately high fatality rates on rural transportation infrastructure. Such projects may concurrently invest in broadband to better facilitate productivity and help rural citizens access opportunities, or promote energy independence to help deliver significant local or regional economic benefit.

Pursuant to the FY 2020 Appropriations Act, no more than 10 percent of the funds made available for BUILD Transportation grants (or $100 million) may be awarded to projects in a single State. The Act also directs that not more than 50 percent of the funds provided for BUILD Transportation grants (or $500 million) shall be awarded to projects located in rural areas (as defined in section C.4.(a)) and directs that not more than 50 percent of the funds provided for BUILD Transportation grants (or $500 million) shall be awarded to projects located in urbanized areas (as defined in section C.4.(a)). Further, DOT must take measures to ensure an equitable geographic distribution of grant funds, an appropriate balance in addressing the needs of urban and rural areas, and investment in a variety of transportation modes.

Eligible projects for BUILD Transportation grants are surface transportation capital projects that include, but are not limited to: (1) highway, bridge, or other road projects eligible under title 23, United States Code; (2) public transportation projects eligible under chapter 53 of title 49, United States Code; (3) passenger and freight rail transportation projects; (4) port infrastructure investments (including inland port infrastructure and land ports of entry); (5) intermodal projects; and (6) projects investing in surface transportation facilities that are located on tribal land and for which title or maintenance responsibility is vested in the Federal Government.

Please note that DOT may award a BUILD Transportation grant to pay for the surface transportation components of a broader project that has non-surface transportation components, and applicants are encouraged to apply for BUILD Transportation grants to pay for the surface transportation components of these projects.

Other than projects described in this section, improvements to Federally owned facilities are ineligible under the FY 2020 BUILD program. Research, demonstration, or pilot projects are eligible only if they will result in long-term, permanent surface transportation infrastructure that has independent utility as defined in Section C.4. (b).

Planning Projects

Activities eligible for funding under BUILD Transportation planning grants are related to the planning, preparation, or design—including environmental analysis, feasibility studies, and other pre-construction activities—of eligible surface transportation capital projects described in Section C.3. (a).

In addition, eligible activities related to multidisciplinary projects or regional planning may include: (1) Development of master plans, comprehensive plans, or corridor plans; (2) Planning activities related to the development of a multimodal freight corridor, including those that seek to reduce conflicts with residential areas and with passenger and non-motorized traffic; (3) Development of port and regional port planning grants, including State-wide or multi-port planning within a single jurisdiction or region; (4) Risk assessments and planning to identify vulnerabilities and address the transportation system’s ability to withstand probable occurrence or recurrence of an emergency or major disaster. 

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 183821

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The FY 2020 Appropriations Act specifies that BUILD Transportation grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except that for projects located in rural areas (as defined in Section C.4.(a)) the minimum award size is $1 million. There is no minimum award size, regardless of location, for BUILD Transportation planning grants. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit applications only for eligible award amounts.

Term of Contract:

All FY 2020 BUILD funds must be expended (the grant obligation must be liquidated or actually paid out to the grantee) by September 30, 2027.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible Applicants for BUILD Transportation grants are State, local and tribal governments, including U.S. territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other political subdivisions of State or local governments.

Multiple States or jurisdictions may submit a joint application and must identify a lead applicant as the primary point of contact and also identify the primary recipient of the award. Each applicant in a joint application must be an Eligible Applicant. Joint applications must include a description of the roles and responsibilities of each applicant and must be signed by each applicant.

DOT expects that the eligible applicant that submits the application will administer and deliver the project. If the applicant seeks a transfer of the award to another agency, a letter of support from the designated entity must be included in the application.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM E.D.T. on May 18, 2020. Applications must be submitted through

The BUILD website and the opportunity will be updated if there are any changes to this deadline. Please identify any area(s) in the application narrative that may be affected by the ongoing COVID-19 situation for the Department’s consideration in the project’s evaluation.

To submit an application through, applicants must:

(1) Obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number;
(2) Register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at;
(3) Create a username and password; and
(4) The E-Business Point of Contact (POC) at the applicant’s organization must respond to the registration email from and login at to authorize the applicant as the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note that there can be more than one AOR for an organization.

Please note that the registration process usually takes 2-4 weeks to complete and that DOT will not consider late applications that are the result of failure to register or comply with applicant requirements in a timely manner. For information and instruction on each of these processes, please see instructions at

Per the FY 2020 Appropriations Act, the Federal share of project costs for which an expenditure is made under the BUILD Transportation grant program may not exceed 80 percent for a project located in an urban area.2 The Secretary may increase the Federal share of costs above 80 percent for a project located in a rural area. Urban area and rural area are defined in Section C.4.(a) of this notice. DOT shall give priority to projects that require a contribution of Federal funds in order to complete an overall financing package.

Under the FY 2020 Appropriations Act, the Department must make awards by September 15, 2020.

BUILD Transportation Grants are reimbursement grants. The recipient of a grant will not receive a lumpsum cash disbursement at the time of award announcement or obligation of funds. Instead, the recipient must pay project costs as they are incurred and submit to DOT requests for reimbursement. This means that the recipient must have access to sufficient non-BUILD funding sources to manage cash flow associated with the project.

To view recordings of the 2020 Webinar series, see here:

Webinar documents are also available in the Supporting Documents section below.

BUILD Discretionary Grants information:

View this opportunity on

For a list of application documents, see the Package tab (press Preview) on the page above.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For further information concerning this notice, please contact the BUILD Transportation grants program staff via e-mail at, or call Howard Hill at 202-366-0301. A TDD is available for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing at 202-366-3993.

Office of the Secretary of Transportation
1200 New Jersey Ave, SE
Washington, DC 20590
United States

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Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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