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US DOT announces recipients of $1.5 billion in TIGER Grants

The US Department of Transportation today announced the recipients of $1.5 billion in TIGER Grant funding. Of nearly 1400 requests for funding that was a combined total of $56.5 billion, 51 projects - or 3.7% of those submitted - received TIGER funding.  The awards ranged from a maximum of $105 million to a minimum of $3.15 million.

To see the list of grant winners - go here.

Only four of the 51 awarded projects will be fully funded with TIGER financing.  They include a $14 million project that will improve the infrastructure at three Maine seaports, $45 million for a new 1.5 mile New Orleans Streetcar line from Union Station to Canal St. along Loyola Ave., $35 million to complete 3.7 miles of a US 395 freeway in Spokane (the money will build two missing southbound lanes), and $3.5 million for improvements to US 93 in Whitefish, MT.

Specific of interest to this blog, $10 million each was awarded to the I-85 Yadkin River Bridge project and the eventual construction of I-73 in Dillon County, SC.  (More on those later in separate entries).

It appears that the best way to have won these grants is to have been a multi-modal project.  One of the bigger projects was a total rebuild of an I-244 bridge in Tulsa, OK.  The new bridge will handle Interstate highway traffic, passenger rail, and have a pedestrian and bike trail access.  The project received nearly $50 million in TIGER Grant money.  The project is estimated to cost $86.7 million.

USDOT's selection criteria included - Long-Term Implications (end project life, economic impact, quality of living improvements, environmental sustainability, and safety), immediate economic impact, innovation, and financial partnerships.

As a result nearly half of the winning projects (22 of 51 - 43%) were transit and street scape based projects. $20 million was awarded to Revere, MA for a project that "...will reconfigure acres of dilapidated and aging surface parking lots into a vertical multi-modal transit facility and plaza, linking automobiles, transit, pedestrians and bicyclists in a hospitable environment that encourages alternative transportation options. The project will also construct a multi-modal, pedestrian-focused streetscape along Ocean Avenue..."  $23 million was allocated to repair, reconstruct, and improve 16.3 miles of pedestrian and bicycle paths in Metropolitan Philadelphia. 

As predicted, the states, cities, and other projects did not receive any grant funding were very disappointed.  A streetcar transit project for Cincinnati was not included.  As was a streetcar project along Peachtree St. in Atlanta.  Disappointment made it as far as Guam as a request for $49.7 million to improve the port there was rejected.

I'm going to take a look at the North Carolina and South Carolina awards in another blog entry.  You may see other members of the blog comment on grants given in their states.  If you are looking for some details on other projects winning TIGER Grant money - follow some of these links:
  • Kevin Flynn's Inside Lane covers the $10 million awarded to Colorado for a US 36 managed lanes/bus rapid transit project between Boulder and Denver
  • The Navajo Nation received $31 million for widening and improvements of the dangerous US 491 corridor in Northwestern New Mexico.  The project site is here.

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