MARLTON, N.J. and WASHINGTON, Nov. 21, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Hill International (NYSE:HIL), the global leader in managing construction risk, announced today that it has received a contract from the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to provide project monitoring and technical assistance support services to the U.S. Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The five-year contract has an estimated value to Hill of approximately $7.0 million. The Volpe Center's mission is to improve the nation's transportation systems. In partnership with sponsoring agencies, the Volpe Center provides technical research and analysis services to the USDOT, other federal agencies, state agencies and other organizations in connection with the transportation-related components of their missions. The Volpe Center's focus is research and innovation in all areas of transportation to improve the transportation system for the future. For example, the Volpe Center supports the FRA in the area of High Speed Rail (HSR) and also monitors and provides technical assistance for the FRA's grant and loan programs. The FRA has engaged the Volpe Center to enhance the FRA's existing monitoring and technical assistance program by using the Volpe Center's expert federal and contractor resources in a manner similar to other USDOT agencies. The FRA administers grant and loan programs to assist grantees and funding recipients in financing the planning, acquisition, design, construction, and/or improvement of freight rail and intercity passenger rail infrastructure, facilities, and equipment as well as rail service operating support for Amtrak. The grant and loan programs administered by the FRA have grown exponentially in both the number of awarded projects and amount of funds available over the last several years. The FRA currently has a grant and loan portfolio comprised of over $18 billion worth of investments for more than 325 active grants and loans distributed across multiple programs for projects located throughout the entire United States. The Volpe Center, through an intra-agency agreement with the FRA, will be providing support to enhance the FRA's monitoring and technical assistance program for High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) and the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) Discretionary Grant program.