U.S. Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg Announces $23.8 Million in Grant Awards to the State of South Dakota for America’s Infrastructure

(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Published: Nov. 19, 2021 at 1:12 PM CST
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WASHINGTON (KOTA) – U.S. Secretary Pete Buttigieg today announced that the Biden Administration will award $23.8 million for two projects in the state of South Dakota through the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) discretionary grants program. The total FY 21 RAISE investment in American infrastructure was nearly $1 billion, awarded to 90 projects in 47 states, the District of Columbia and Guam.

“We’re proud to support these great projects that will improve infrastructure, strengthen supply chains, make us safer, advance equity, and combat climate change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As in past years, we received far more applications than we could fund: this cycle saw about a ten-to-one ratio of requests to available dollars. But going forward, with the passage of President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, we will be able to support far more infrastructure projects to support jobs and everyday life in communities across the country.”

The program selection criteria encompassed safety, environmental sustainability, quality of life, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, innovation, and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders. Within these criteria, the grants reflect the Department’s priorities for creating good-paying jobs, improving safety, applying transformative technology, and explicitly addressing climate change and advancing racial equity.

The projects receiving funding include:

  • The Oglala Sioux Tribe will receive $1.8 million for the BIA 2 Rural Safety and Regional Access Project. This project will complete planning and preconstruction activities for reconstruction of approximately 20.7 miles of BIA 2 from the west edge of Kyle to SD Highway 44 on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
  • The South Dakota Department of Transportation will receive $22 million for the South Dakota Freight Capacity Expansion Project. This project will complete upgrades necessary to increase the freight rail car weight limit and train speeds across 160 miles of Rapid City, Pierre & Eastern’s subdivision between Pierre and Rapid City, South Dakota. The project will replace approximately 87.7 miles of aging rail with new 136 lb. continuous welded rail. The project will also upgrade approximately 121 bridge structures, install approximately 80,000 main line cross ties, replace approximately 11 main line turnouts, upgrade approximately 122 grade crossings, and install safety improvements on the line.

Fiscal Year 2021 RAISE Transportation discretionary grants are for planning and capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and were awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. RAISE funding supports roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.   Per statute, the Department is awarding 50% of RAISE Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas and 50% to urban areas that deliver positive benefits for these communities.  For this round of RAISE Transportation discretionary grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $100 million can be awarded to a single State, as specified in the appropriations act.

The full list of awards can be found here and here.

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