Well, it’s the year of the Tiger, and TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) awards have just been unleashed. The TIGER grant program is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). Through it, 51 innovative transportation projects from every corner of the country will receive $1.5 billion in funding.
US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced these Recovery Act or TIGER awards to states, tribal governments, cities, counties and transit agencies across the country just this week.
As the White House reports, the TIGER program’s intention was “to spur a national competition for innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that promise significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire metropolitan area, a region or the nation.”
“TIGER grants will tackle the kind of major transportation projects that have been difficult to build under other funding programs,” said LaHood.
The projects receiving the $1.5 billion include improvements to roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit and intermodal facilities.
Of course, there was a lot of competition for this $1.5 billion. Only 51 projects were awarded funding, but the US Department of Transportation received over 1,400 applications. In total, the requests were for almost $60 billion worth of projects.
The projects awarded were considered to be those most in need or most promising for creating a more livable, safer and more economically prosperous nation. The White House reports:
“The projects announced today will create jobs and spur lasting economic growth, reduce gridlock for the traveling public, and provide Americans with more safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices. They will also help factories, farms and businesses across the U.S. move goods more efficiently and better compete in the global economy. Sixty percent of the funding will go to economically distressed areas, which are home to 39 percent of the U.S. population.”
A full list of the awardees is on the next page, and for even more information on the projects, visit the US Department of Transportation’s full TIGER Grants document.
It is great to see more funding for progressive transportation projects around the country (to supplement the $8 billion that just went towards High-Speed Rail), but if we are really going to address the important nationwide transportation issues of the present and the future, Congress needs to get moving on a long-overdue transportation funding bill for the coming years.
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