One year to the day after President Obama signed the historic American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) into law, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood will announce Recovery Act awards to states, tribal governments, cities, counties and transit agencies across the country to fund 51 innovative transportation projects.
The TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant Program was included in the Recovery Act 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. Projects funded with the $1.5 billion allocated in the Recovery Act include improvements to roads, bridges, rail, ports, transit and intermodal facilities.
In an overwhelming show of demand for the program, the U.S. Department of Transportation was flooded with more than 1,400 applications from all 50 states, territories and the District of Columbia requesting funding for almost $60 billion worth of projects – 40 times the amount available through the program.
“TIGER grants will tackle the kind of major transportation projects that have been difficult to build under other funding programs,” saidU.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This will help us meet the 21st century challenges of improving the environment, making our communities more livable and enhancing safety, all while creating jobs and growing the economy.”
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.
Awardees were selected based on their contribution to economic competitiveness of the nation, improving safety and the condition of the existing transportation system, increasing quality of life, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating strong collaboration among a broad range of participants, including the private sector.
Projects were funded in large cities as well as rural and tribal communities across the country and were selected based on merit. Selected projects represent some of the most innovative projects as well as multi-modal, multi-jurisdictional projects that are often overlooked by the existing funding system.
The winning TIGER projects highlighted the diversity of transportation needs throughout the U.S. from grand Moynihan Station in New York City, which will carry millions of train and subway riders each year to “the most beautiful drive in America” – Wyoming’s Beartooth Highway – the gateway to Yellowstone National Park. They ranged from major billion dollar freight rail corridors in the Midwest and South, to bridge repairs in Oklahoma and South Carolina to port projects in Maine and Hawaii.
TIGER funds will also help construct the Union Passenger Terminal/Loyola Streetcar Loop in New Orleans, make safety improvements to a key highway in New Mexico Najavo country and spur economic growth in Appalachia through the Appalachian Regional Short Line Rail Project and the Gateway Project.
The U.S. Department of Transportation required rigorous economic justifications for projects more than $100 million and will require all recipients to report on their activities on a routine basis. A complete list of recipients can be viewed