USDOT Announces New TIFIA Criteria, Deadline, and Proposed Pilot Program

USDOT has published new program guidance for the TIFIA Program which clarifies project selection criteria and processes. The new guidance is the product of long deliberation at USDOT, which withdrew an earlier proposal last spring. [See USDOT Withdraws Proposed Changes to the TIFIA Program.]

The notice:

  • Announces a change in TIFIA selection criteria and processes going forward – rather than the current first come, first served basis for project submission, the new process would pool all letters of interest and apply weighting criteria to choose the best projects.

  • Requests comments on a potential pilot program that would allow the borrower to pay the government’s subsidy cost for the project.

  • Announces funding availability for 2010 (beyond what has been reserved for projects already pending approval).

New selection criteria would weigh projects according to projected impacts on safety, livability, sustainability, economic competitiveness and state of good repair. The new process will implement application deadlines to allow staff time to evaluate projects according to the clarified criteria, prior to submission to the Credit Council for final selection.  For consideration in the FY 2010 funding cycle, Letters of Interest must be submitted by December 31, 2009, using the revised form on the TIFIA website.

The proposed pilot program could greatly expand the reach of the TIFIA program.   By allowing borrowers the option to pay the full subsidy cost of TIFIA assistance, USDOT hopes to extend credit to qualified projects that would otherwise be denied assistance solely due to funding constraints. Comments regarding the potential pilot program must be submitted by December 31, 2009.

Nossaman will provide a detailed analysis of the notice, which will be available via E-Alert or on the firm’s website.

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