Sixth round of TIGER funding
The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced that $600 million will be made available to fund transportation projects across the country under a sixth round of the DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
The DOT press release said that the 2014 TIGER 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 residents to reach work and school.
The release noted that the DOT will prioritize applications for capital projects that connect people to jobs, education, training and other opportunities, promote neighborhood redevelopment, and reconnect neighborhoods divided by physical barriers such as highways and railroads.
The competitive TIGER program, which began as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, offers one of the only federal funding possibilities for large multi-modal projects, according to the release. 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.
The press release said: “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 U.S. DOT received more than 5,300 applications requesting nearly $115 billion for transportation projects across the country, according to the release.