The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has earmarked another $500 million in grant money from the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER), a stimulus programme for vital infrastructure projects across the nation.
The latest distributions represent TIGER’s fourth round of financing and follow the allocation of $2.6 billion to 172 projects in all 50 US states as well as Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico in previous programme stages.
TIGER’s grants are reserved for “surface transportation projects having a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or region,” according to a DOT press release. TIGER 2012 funds are dedicated to transportation segments including high-speed rail and intercity passenger rail projects, which are eligible for as much as $100 million. Rural transportation projects can fetch up to $120 million in TIGER assets.
“Americans are demanding investments in highways, ports, commuter rail, streetcars, busses and high-speed rail,” US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stated in a press release.
TIGER competition has been fierce and to suggest that the stimulus has generated interest would be an understatement. The response from the transportation sector has been “overwhelming,” according to the release.
Thousands of applications have thus far been received seeking some $95 billion in funding for domestic transportation projects, well exceeding TIGER’s capacity. Some of the financing is going towards public-private partnerships, including $46 million already awarded for the Presidio Parkway project in California.
The DOT is launching its fourth round of financing amid the realisation of the 2012 Appropriations Act, which President Barack Obama signed into law in the third quarter of 2011 and from which $500 million – the size of the first 2012 TIGER instalment – became available to the DOT.