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Obama, DOT Secretary Foxx announce $600 million for 6th round of TIGER grants

The TIGER 2014 grant program will place an emphasis on projects that support reliable, safe and affordable transportation options that improve connections for both urban and rural communities, making it easier for their residents to reach work, school and other ladders of opportunity.

The Trucker News Services

2/26/2014

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx joined President Barack Obama Wednesday to announce that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the Department of Transportation’s highly successful Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) competitive grant program.

The announcement will be made at the Union Depot in St. Paul, which received $35 million in the first round of TIGER to renovate the facility and restore tracks. Combined with roughly $480 million in federal funding for the Central Corridor light rail transit line, St. Paul’s Union Depot is proof of the impact that transportation investment can make, leading to job creation, downtown revitalization and economic growth.

 “President Obama knows that transportation means opportunity for so many Americans,” Foxx said. “TIGER investments answer the President’s challenge to expand opportunity through a strong transportation system that connects Americans with a better way of life.” 

The TIGER 2014 grant program will place an emphasis on projects that support reliable, safe and affordable transportation options that improve connections for both urban and rural communities, making it easier for their residents to reach work, school and other ladders of opportunity, the DOT said in a news release.

While continuing to support projects of all types, DOT will prioritize applications for capital projects that better connect people to jobs, training and other opportunities, promote neighborhood redevelopment and reconnect neighborhoods divided by physical barriers, such as highways and railroads.

The highly competitive TIGER program, which began as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for large, game-changing multi-modal projects. These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. The $474 million 2013 TIGER round alone supported $1.8 billion in overall project investments.

The American Trucking Associations took a wait-and see approach.

“It is heartening that both President Obama and Chairman Camp recognize the critical need for revenue to finance infrastructure improvements. While a sustainable source of long-term, funding would be preferable, given the apparent reluctance to embrace traditional, user-funded revenue streams, ATA is prepared to keep an open mind when looking at financing options for the Highway Trust Fund.”

Building America’s Future applauded today’s announcement.

“The Highway Trust Fund is on track to go  bankrupt  this summer and if we want to modernize our country’s roads, bridges and transit systems, we need a combination of urgent action and a long term plan along the lines of what  the President is outlining today,” said former Pennsylvania Governor and Co-Chair of Building America’s Future, Ed Rendell.

“If we want America to stay competitive in a global economy, we need to make serious investments in our infrastructure from coast to coast. I was very pleased to see the president’s proposal included measures to improve resiliency and sustainability,” said former New York City Mayor and Co-Chair of Building America’s Future Michael Bloomberg. “President Obama’s proposal will put Americans to work and will give a desperately needed jolt to our infrastructure and transportation systems.”

“As a former governor, I know how important it is for states to have certainty when it comes to transportation funding.  It is imperative that Congress and the Administration come to the table and find a bipartisan solution to our infrastructure crisis.”

In additional to supporting capital grants, Congress has provided DOT with the flexibility to use up to $35 million of TIGER funds for planning grants, the first time since the 2010 round. In addition to supporting the planning of innovative transportation, these funds can support regional transportation planning, freight and port planning and programmatic mitigation approaches that increase efficiency and improve outcomes for communities and the environment.

Since 2009, the TIGER program has awarded $3.5 billion to 270 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico – including 100 projects to support rural communities. Demand has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation across the country.

Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014, signed by President Obama on January 17, 2017. TIGER applications are due April 28. Click here to learn more about TIGER 2014 and to view DOT’s Notice of Funding Availability. 

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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