Arizona project largest recipient of TIGER grants

The Arizona Department of Transportation landed $21.6m for its project, while California and Texas received a combined $77m. Tellingly, the latest $500m series of TIGER was oversubscribed by more than $10bn.

A bridge project in Arizona hauled in a $21.6 million grant, scoring the single largest dollar amount allotted under TIGER, a government programme that Friday doled out $500 million in transportation funding nationwide.

The project, one of 47 selected by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) as eligible for TIGER – short for the Transportation Investment Generating Recovery campaign – is a renovation of a bridge along Interstate 15 (I-15) in Virgin River Gorge that will cost $27 million, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT), the state agency awarded the grant.

The brownfield undertaking underscored the varied geographic and project composition of the fourth round of TIGER, which USDOT unveiled in 2010, and which in its latest incarnation counted 703 applications from each US state totalling $10.2 billion – easily exceeding the $500 million set aside for the economic stimulus programme last November.

Thirty four states received funding, with California claiming the largest chunk of funding per municipality with $40 million. Texas also fared well, garnering $37 million. Rural America won a substantial share of TIGER money, $120 million all told.

On a project basis, core transportation, of course, emerged as the biggest TIGER IV beneficiary with 35 percent – or $175 million – earmarked toward bridge and roadwork and $30 million to projects in the rural US. Thirteen percent of the funding – or $65 million – will support high speed rail (HSR) projects, while 12 percent – or $60 million – will finance seaport building. Another $60 million will fund intermodal projects.

Lastly, 12 percent of TIGER will be put toward freight rail projects, USDOT said.

Behind the Arizona I-15 bridge refurbishment for the most single project allocation is phase one of the Raleigh Union Station intercity passenger service in Raleigh, North Carolina, which has a total $84.2 million price tag and is indicative of the sort of HSR work singled out for TIGER funding.

US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, in announcing the 47 project that qualified for TIGER funding, hailed President Barack Obama, who last fall approved the $500 million in funding, for his dedication to bettering US infrastructure.

“President Obama’s support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country building roads, bridges and other projects that will mean better, safer transportation for generations to come,” LaHood said. “TIGER projects mean good transportation jobs today and a stronger economic future for the nation”.

Between now and the fall, 27 projects from the previous TIGER rounds are expected to “break ground,” USDOT said. 

Altogether, TIGER has provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects in all 50 US states.