23 CFR 505.9 - Criteria for grants.
(a) The Secretary will approve a grant for a Project of National and Regional Significance project only if the Secretary determines, based upon information submitted by the applicant, that the project:
(1) Is based on the results of preliminary engineering;
(2) Is supported by an acceptable degree of non-Federal financial commitments, including evidence of stable and dependable financing sources to construct, maintain, and operate the infrastructure facility. In evaluating a non-Federal financial commitment, the Secretary shall require that:
(i) The proposed project plan provides for the availability of contingency amounts that the Secretary determines to be reasonable to cover unanticipated cost increases; and
(ii) Each proposed non-Federal source of capital and operating financing is stable, reliable, and available within the proposed project timetable. In assessing the stability, reliability, and availability of proposed sources of non-Federal financing, the Secretary will consider:
(A) Existing financial commitments;
(B) The degree to which financing sources are dedicated to the purposes proposed;
(C) Any debt obligation that exists or is proposed by the recipient for the proposed project; and
(D) The extent to which the project has a non-Federal financial commitment that exceeds the required non-Federal share of the cost of the project.
(3) Emerges from the metropolitan and Statewide planning process, consistent with 23 CFR Part 450;
(4) Is justified based on the ability of the project:
(i) To generate national and/or regional economic benefits, as evidenced by, but not limited to:
(A) The creation of jobs, expansion of business opportunities, and impacts to the gross domestic product due to quantitatively increased throughput;
(B) The amount and importance of freight and passenger travel served; and
(C) The demographic and economic characteristics of the area served.
(ii) To allocate public and private costs commensurate with the share of public and private benefits and risks;
(iii) To generate long-term congestion relief that impacts the State, the region, and the Nation, as evidenced by, but not limited to:
(A) Congestion levels, delay and consequences of delay;
(B) Efficiency and effectiveness of congestion mitigation; and
(C) Travel time reliability.
(iv) To improve transportation safety, including reducing transportation accidents, injuries, and fatalities, as evidenced by, but not limited to, number, rate and consequences of crashes, injuries and fatalities in the affected region and corridor;
(v) To otherwise enhance the national transportation system by improving throughput; and
(vi) To garner support for non-Federal financial commitments and provide evidence of stable and dependable financing sources to construct, maintain, and operate the infrastructure facility.
(b) In selecting projects under this section, the Secretary will consider the extent to which the project:
(1) Leverages Federal investment by encouraging non-Federal contributions to the project, including contributions from public-private partnerships;
(2) Uses new technologies, including intelligent transportation systems, that enhance the efficiency of the project;
(3) Helps maintain or protect the environment; and
(4) Demonstrates that the proposed project cannot be readily and efficiently realized without Federal support and participation.
(c) All information submitted as part of or in support of an application shall use publicly available data or data that can be made public and methodologies that are accepted by industry practice and standards.
(d) Measures for the selection criteria shall include projections for both the build and no-build scenarios.
(e) PNRS solicitations or guidance documents will contain, as needed, additional specific information regarding measures, weighting, and use of these criteria.
(f) All proposed PNRS projects are required to comply with the requirements of 23 U.S.C. 106(h) regardless of whether the project meets project cost threshold for classification as a major project.