USDOT to provide $600m through TIGER grants

The transportation department will provide the money for 72 transportation projects in 46 states plus the District of Colombia.

The US Department of Transportation (USDOT) will provide $600 million for 72 transportation projects in 46 states plus the District of Colombia from its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2014 programme, according to a statement.

Of the funds granted in this round of the TIGER programme, 47 percent of the money is dedicated to highway projects, while 37 percent is for transit projects, USDOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said during a conference call with reporters.

The USDOT received 797 eligible applications from 49 states, US territories and the District of Columbia, an increase from the 585 applications received in 2013. Overall, applicants requested 15 times the $600 million available for the programme, or $9 billion for needed transportation projects.

“As uncertainty about the future of long-term federal funding continues, this round of TIGER will be a shot in the arm for these innovative, job-creating and quality of life-enhancing projects,” said Secretary Foxx.

“For every project we select, however, we must turn dozens more away – projects that could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which would double the funding available for TIGER and grow the number of projects we could support,” he said in the statement.

Projects funded through this round of TIGER are expected to improve access to jobs, create new “ladders of opportunity,” reverse neglect by repairing US infrastructure, enhance quality of life, and commerce, support game-changing local initiatives, and help communities plan for the future, the statement said.

Those that are selected in the TIGER programme include: two bus rapid transit lines in Richmond, Virginia, and Omaha, Nebraska respectively; Boston Ruggles Station; the Wando Welch Terminal Rehabilitation project in South Carolina; the Vision Zero project in New York City; the Missouri River Bridge project in Washington, Missouri; and the Three County Roadway Improvements Programme in Claiborne County, Mississippi, according to the statement.

Since 2009, the TIGER programme has provided nearly $4.1 billion to 342 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – including 117 projects to support rural and tribal communities.

Demand for the programme has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion for transportation projects across the country.

Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, signed by President Obama on January 17, 2014.