Biden Announces $60M Mega Grant for I-10 Freight Corridor

Road Service Repairs The Highway
Getty Images

NEW YORK – On Jan. 31, President Biden and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that the Biden-Harris Administration has awarded $60 million to the Mississippi Department of Transportation  to make improvements to the I-10 freight corridor in Diamondhead, Mississippi  as part of nearly $1.2 billion in funding made available from the new National Infrastructure Project Assistance discretionary grant program.

“From the Hoover Dam to the Golden Gate Bridge, some infrastructure projects are so large and complex that they defy traditional funding systems — and so significant that they become iconic parts of the American landscape,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “After receiving over one hundred applications, we are proud to fund these nine infrastructure megaprojects across the country to create jobs, strengthen our supply chains, expand our economy and renew America’s built landscape.”

The  I-10 freight corridor improvements project was one of nine nationally significant projects selected for this first year of the Mega Grant program.

The project location spans a large portion of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, which experiences heavy traffic from freight, residents and tourists, and facilitates access to the nearby Hancock County Port Bienville and the State Port of Gulfport, which also serves as a strategic port for military operations. The project will widen I-10 from four to six lanes from just west of Diamondhead to just east of County Farm Road as well as incorporate intelligent transportation system improvements. 

The project is designed to improve access to locations across the Mississippi Gulf Coast and major southern cities including New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston and Mobile. 

The Mega grant program will invest a total of $5 billion through 2026 to help rebuild the United States’ infrastructure. For this application cycle specifically, USDOT received applications requesting approximately $30 billion in funding, far exceeding the $1 billion in 2022 funding available.

Applications were evaluated based on several criteria, including safety, ability to return transportation infrastructure to a state of good repair, economic benefits, environmental sustainability, equity and innovation. The department also evaluated applications based on project readiness and cost-effectiveness.

Applicants for the Mega program were also able to use the same application for two additional grant programs: the Rural Surface Transportation Grant program and the Infrastructure for Rebuilding America program. The Department announced INFRA and Rural awards in September and December of 2022, respectively.

Categories: Politics, Today’s Business News, Transportation