It’s finally here. The Biden-Harris administration is ready to allocate money from the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) Program. The administration is keen on moving America into the future. Over the past few months, states have submitted their applications for a taste of some of the funds, and the winners are in. A total of 166 projects will receive part of the $2.2 billion from the RAISE program. This is only the first phase, and there is more money to come for states or cities that didn’t earn project approval. There is still plenty of money for new projects. Over a total of five years, $7.5 billion will go to new projects. US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg is on a tour of the winning projects to hand out grants and publicize the program.
Many of the rejected projects did not meet the standards of the RAISE program. This program awarded winning projects to those that catered to the spirit of the RAISE program. They looked for things that would help modernize urban and rural communities in transportation. This includes things like updated bridges, transit, rails, ports, and intermodal transportation. The key is that they would not only modernize but also make safer, accessible, affordable, and sustainable projects. Many projects rolled in, but Buttigieg and his staff needed to narrow them down even further. To do so, they had to develop specific criteria that these transportation projects would benefit.
Criteria of the Winning Projects
When it all boiled down, they awarded the winning projects by evaluating several factors. Safety was always a chief concern and making a safer community led the decision for every project. With safety comes environmental sustainability. These projects should lay the groundwork for creating a better tomorrow. If the quality of life doesn’t improve in the short and long term, the project would not receive approval. Many of the projects fell into these categories, so the administration looked deeper. They ensured that the winning projects created economic competitiveness and opportunity and allowed partnership and collaboration. They wanted the projects to be innovative and make America excited about the future. This means the projects would be in a state of good repair and would not require additional work in the future.
In addition to the longevity of these projects, it was important to the administration that these projects also improve the economy. Not only did they want the projects to drive economic competitiveness and opportunity as listed above, but they wanted this competitiveness and opportunity to drive tourism and jobs. To create mobility and community connectivity to allow better commutes and more opportunities for travelers. Not to mention, allowing accessibility for all travelers. The global pandemic allowed America to see glaring issues in our supply chain, which meant that projects meant to improve this were granted precedent. All of this should help support racial equity and economic growth and evidence for this would show favor in the department’s decision-making process.