HDR Expert Offers Advice on Obtaining IIJA Funds for Freight Railroads

Cat Dobbs
Cat Dobbs

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act offers an unprecedented influx of funding to transportation infrastructure in the United States. Freight railroads have a new opportunity to fund projects, corridors and even programs that would have been previously out of reach.

In HDR’s latest Experts Talk interview, Cat Dobbs explains the federal funding and how railroads can access it to make important safety improvements, can position themselves for funds by incorporating equity into the process and can ensure that they successfully execute federal grant agreements once awarded.

“The IIJA offers transformational levels of investment to benefit railroads,” she said.

Dobbs is a senior project manager and program strategist with HDR. She specializes in the Federal Railroad Administration’s process under the National Environmental Policy Act and other federal permitting requirements, federal partnerships, and grant monitoring, compliance and administration for freight rail projects. Dobbs spent nearly 12 years with the FRA’s Office of Program Delivery as the central team lead for the Project Management and Oversight Division. At HDR, she provides unmatched insight on how to convey project information to the FRA, offers technical expertise in the application of all federal funding requirements and compliance for rail programs and is uniquely situated to interpret federal programmatic guidance.

In the Experts Talk, Dobbs offers insightful, practical advice for railroads looking to obtain this new funding and use it for high-priority projects.

Among her advice: “Read the NOFO! FRA alum status showing here, but it’s really the most fundamental piece of advice. USDOT programs are both complex and simple — complex because there are several requirements and components to be addressed, but remarkably simple in that the NOFO spells them out very clearly,” she said.

Read all of her advice on obtaining and implementing IIJA funds for railroads.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

About HDR 

For over a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what's possible. Our expertise spans more than 11,000 employees in more than 200 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.