USDOT dedicates $500m in TIGER grants

Transport Secretary Anthony Foxx said $500m will be made available in the seventh round of the TIGER grant programme to fund surface transportation projects in 2015.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will provide $500 million in grants in the seventh round of the successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) programme, which is used to fund transportation projects throughout the country, the government agency said in a recent statement.

“TIGER 2015 discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area,” USDOT said.

The amount made available is lower than the $600 million set aside for the previous year. While demand far exceeded the amount on offer – applications in 2014 totaled $9.5 billion – the $600 million was leveraged to support $1.9 billion in overall transportation investments.

Since its inception in 2009, the TIGER programme has provided $4.1 billion to 342 projects across the country.

“The consistent number of high quality projects we’re unable to fund through TIGER every year demonstrates the need for Congress to act to give more communities access to this vital lifeline,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said. “That is why we proposed doubling TIGER in the Grow America Act,” he added, referring to the six-year transportation reauthorization bill he submitted to Congress last week.

In addition to allocating $7.5 billion to the TIGER programme over the next six years, the proposed legislation would also establish an $18 billion freight programme, provide a $6 billion boost to the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) and streamline the Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) programme to make it easier to obtain related loans.

“The TIGER programme has funded innovative projects, sparked new partnerships, created intermodal connections and enabled hard-to-fund projects that are changing the face of communities all across the country,” Foxx said. “We are excited to kick off this year’s competition.

States and local authorities have until June 5 to submit final applications for the federal grants.