TIGER II requests top $19 billion
Forty-two capital construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states will share nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s popular TIGER II program for major infrastructure projects ranging from highways and bridges to transit, rail and ports, Secretary Ray LaHood announced today.
Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II received nearly 1,000 construction grant applications for more than $19 billion from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
The tremendous demand for TIGER II project dollars follows a similar demand for TIGER I project dollars. On February 17, 2009, the Department announced 51 grant awards from nearly 1,500 applications for TIGER I grants nationwide. The TIGER I requests were for almost $60 billion worth of projects, 40 times the $1.5 billion available under that program. TIGER I dollars were made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
“These are innovative, 21st century projects that will change the U.S. transportation landscape by strengthening the economy and creating jobs, reducing gridlock and providing safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices,” said Secretary LaHood. “Many of these projects could not have been funded without this program.”
Roughly 29 percent of TIGER II money goes for road projects, 26 percent for transit, 20 percent for rail projects, 16 percent for ports, four percent for bicycle and pedestrian projects and five percent for planning projects.
An example of projects funded is $47.6 million to the City of Atlanta to construct a new streetcar line connecting many of the most important downtown residential, cultural, educational and historic centers, demonstrating the Department’s commitment to improving quality of life in major metropolitan areas.
TIGER II also provided $20 million to the New Hampshire Department of Transportation to replace the deteriorating Memorial Bridge that connects Portsmouth, NH, with Kittery, ME. The bridge is at the end of its service life and has a bridge sufficiency rating of six out of 100. Safety concerns recently required a maximum three-ton weight restriction on the bridge, causing all truck traffic to be detoured. The project demonstrates the Department’s commitment to bringing the nation’s aging road and highway infrastructure to a state of good repair.
In addition, TIGER II funds are being used to support a $546 million TIFIA (Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act) loan for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority to build the Crenshaw/LAX Light Rail Line, a key piece of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s 30/10 initiative to construct 12 major transit projects in 10 years rather than 30, exemplifying the Department’s commitment to bold, regional transportation projects that create jobs in the short term while reinvesting in long term economic competitiveness and livability.
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