Huge demand exceeds available TIGER funding

Applications for the fifth round of the DOT’s stimulus programme total more than $9bn.

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has received 568 applications for the 2013 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants programme, highlighting the need for transportation investment, the DOT said in a statement.

The applications – received from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and American Samoa – totaled more than $9 billion and significantly exceeded the $474 million set aside for DOT’s infrastructure investments.

“President Obama challenged us to improve our nation’s infrastructure to provide the transportation choices people and businesses want and the efficiency and safety they need,” US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in the statement.

“TIGER projects do exactly that – across the country, they are helping relieve congestion, create jobs and generate lasting economic growth,” he added.

The fifth round of financing became available after President Barack Obama signed the 2013 Appropriations Act, and after the $85 billion in federal spending cuts, or sequester, went into effect in March.

The programme was created to enable the DOT to invest in road, rail, transit and port projects. Since its launch in 2009, TIGER has provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

“The TIGER program enables DOT to use a rigorous process to select projects with exceptional benefits, explore ways to deliver projects faster and save on construction costs, and make investments in our Nation’s infrastructure that make communities more livable and sustainable,” according to the DOT.