Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi introduced Senate Bill 3842, called the Rural Infrastructure Advancement Act. 

Wicker authored legislation that would establish a Rural Assistance Pilot Program to help rural communities and localities better utilize and leverage existing Department of Transportation funding and financing opportunities. 

“Rural states often face challenges when trying to find the financial resources necessary to fund critical infrastructure projects, such as improving our roads and bridges,” Wicker says. “This bill would provide professional technical assistance to rural communities interested in utilizing existing financial programs.”

He says it’s important that they provide the resources necessary to support and advance rural infrastructure. 

The legislation would do several things, including establishing a pilot program that retains expert firms, all of whom will need DOT approval, to provide financial, technical, and legal assistance to rural project sponsors seeking to apply for a loan or grant. 

It would also authorize funding for the Transportation Department to carry out the program, develop an online portal for applications, and post information about the pilot program and the resources available online.