Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act

Key FAST Programs

Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects Program


Total Funds: $4.5 billion

FHWA Fact Sheet (PDF)

The Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP) program is a new competitive grant program that provides dedicated funding in the form of FASTLANE Grants  (Fostering Advancement in Shipping and Transportation for the Long-Term Achievement of National Efficiencies) to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects. 

Grants may be awarded to a wide variety of applicants including States, Metropolitan Planning Organizations, local governments, tribal governments, port authorities and other parties for projects that improve safety and freight movements.

A typical rail crossing in Minnesota.

A typical Minnesota rail crossing.

Important dates

April 14, 2016 – Applications were due for FY 2016 grants. 


The purpose of the NSFHP program is to provide financial assistance to nationally and regionally significant freight and highway projects that align with program goals to:

  • Improve the safety, efficiency, and reliability of the movement of freight and people,
  • Generate national or regional economic benefits and an increase in global economic competitiveness of the U.S,
  • Reduce highway congestion and bottlenecks,
  • Improve connectivity between modes of freight transportation,
  • Enhance the resiliency of critical highway infrastructure and help protect the environment,
  • Improve roadways vital to national energy security, and
  • Address the impact of population growth on the movement of people and freight.


The FAST Act program will provide $4.5 billion in project grants from federal fiscal years 2016-2020. 

FASTLANE Grant Program

Fiscal Year


2017 2018 2019 2020

$800 M

$850 M $900 M $950 M $1 B

Twenty-five percent of funds are set-aside for rural projects.  Grants will be separated into large and small projects.  Grans will cover a maximum of 60% of a project. 
Large projects:

  • At least $100 million or 30% of a state’s FY 2015 federal-aid apportionment if the project is located on one state, or 50% of the largest applicant state’s FY 2015 federal-aid apportionment for projects located in more than one state.
  • Must be greater than $25 million.

Small projects:

  • Those that do not meet the minimum project size for large projects
  • Must be at least $5 million
  • 10% of the annual appropriation is reserved for small projects.

Eligible projects

Commercial vehicle operations on Minnesota roads.
  • Developmental phase activities: planning, feasibility analysis, environmental review, engineering, etc.
  • Highway freight projects carried out on the National Highway Freight Network and/or National Highway System
  • Railway-highway grade crossing or grade separation projects
  • Intermodal or rail freight projects
  • Surface transportation projects that improve freight movement on the National Freight Highway System
  • Project environmental mitigation