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Rail CRISI and STC Grant Funds Available for Fiscal Year 2021

For Immediate Release: 
Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021

Julie Stevenson, Strategic Communications Coordinator, 605-773-2898


PIERRE, S.D. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements (CRISI) Program and will be issuing a notice for the Special Transportation Circumstance (STC) Grants. 


The NOFO for the CRISI may be found at the following link:  https://railroads.dot.gov/sites/fra.dot.gov/files/2021-08/2021%20CRISI%20NOFO%20submitted%20to%20FR%20website%20version.pdf.


The STC funds are directed grant funds from sums appropriated to the CRISI Grant Programs. The CRISI grants are competitive grants that will provide up to $362 million in freight and passenger rail projects that improve transportation safety, efficiency, and reliability as authorized under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The STC funds are non-competitive grants for three states but the projects must still meet eligibility requirements. 


The Federal funding share for both grants is not to exceed 80% of the project’s total cost. For the CRISI grants, the identified selection preference will be given to projects with a 50 percent non-federal funding match from any combination of private, state, or local funds.


In application for both grants, the State Railroad Board is preemptively requesting written reports and supporting information from interested parties. Once the information is submitted, the state will files a CRISI grant and/or STC grant request on behalf of the interested party. If the party is requesting funding from the State Rail Trust Fund to support proposed CRISI or STC grant applications, include the amount in the application request. The written report for each proposed grant should include information identifying how the project will meet the NOFO and adhere to the goals established under the State Rail plan. These goals are as follows: 

  • Support Economic Growth and Development
  • Ensure Connectivity for Critical Industries
  • Maintain State Railroad Assets in a State of Good Repair
  • Reduce Highway Impacts
  • Improve Railroad Safety, Security and Resiliency


Find additional information about each goal, view the appendix of the State Rail Plan: https://dot.sd.gov/media/documents/DR2_Vol1_SDDOT_StateRlPln.pdf.


The written report should also include information identifying the statewide benefit achieved for the project. The narrative is to include details, in economic terms, of the merits of investing in the proposed project and provide supporting benefit cost calculations to demonstrate economic vitality of the proposed expenditure of funds. If State funds are being requested as part of the funding for the STC grant, the written report should emphasize the projects overall benefit to the public and the state. 


The written report will include the following information: 

  • Narrative describing how the project meets each of the State Rail Plan goals
  • Project Information Describing:
    • Project Summary (project location, scope, and schedule)
    • Proposed Project Funding (Federal, State, other)
    • Project or Plan Readiness
    • Environmental Readiness
    • Overall Benefit with accompanying BCA ratio; if BCA ratio is available
    • Proposed responsible party tasked with developing the application
    • Proposed funding for creating the application 


Interested parties should send written reports by 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021, to SDDOT, Becker-Hansen Building, 700 East Broadway Ave, Pierre, SD 57501. The written reports should be 10 pages or less.


The Railroad Board will provide an opportunity for presentations at the scheduled meeting on Wednesday, Sept.  29, 2021. It is anticipated decisions will be made on all applications at the Railroad Board meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021.

If selected by the Board for submittal of a CRISI grant application to FRA, the applicant will need to provide a fully completed grant application to SDDOT by Monday, Nov. 29, 2021. If unable to commit to this deadline, a grant request should not be submitted.


About SDDOT:

The mission of the South Dakota Department of Transportation is to efficiently provide a safe and effective public transportation system.

Read more about the innovative work of the SDDOT at https://dot.sd.gov