LaHood: Funding for 46 innovative transportation projects through TIGER round 3
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood on Dec. 15 announced that 46 transportation projects in 33 states and Puerto Rico will receive a total of $511 million from the third round of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) popular TIGER program.
The announcement comes months ahead of schedule, and will allow communities to move forward with critical, job-creating infrastructure projects including road and bridge improvements; transit upgrades; freight, port and rail expansions; and new options for bicyclists and pedestrians, according to the U.S. DOT. The DOT received 848 project applications from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., requesting a total of $14.29 billion, far exceeding the $511 million made available for grants under the TIGER III program.
“The overwhelming demand for these grants clearly shows that communities across the country can’t afford to wait any longer for Congress to put Americans to work building the transportation projects that are critical to our economic future,” LaHood said in a written statement from the U.S. DOT. “That’s why we’ve taken action to get these grants out the door quickly, and that is why we will continue to ask Congress to make the targeted investments we need to create jobs, repair our nation’s transportation systems, better serve the traveling public and our nation’s businesses, factories and farms, and make sure our economy continues to grow.”
In November, President Obama directed DOT to take common sense steps to expedite transportation projects by accelerating the process for review and approval and by leveraging private sector funding to promote growth and job creation.
As part of that initiative, DOT accelerated the TIGER III application review process and has announced the awards before the end of 2011 – months ahead of the planned spring 2012 announcement.
The grants will fund a wide range of innovative transportation projects in urban and rural areas across the country:
• Of the $511 million in TIGER III funds available for grants, more than $150 million will go to critical projects in rural areas.
• Roughly 48 percent of the funding will go to road and bridge projects, including more than $64 million for Complete Streets projects that will spur small business growth and benefit motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.