Last month, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) received about 1,000 applications for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) II grants citing projects worth more than $19 billion. Applications poured in from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
However, the overwhelming response far exceeded the $600 million available in TIGER II dollars that can be awarded for transportation infrastructure projects ranging from transit systems to ports to highways to bridges, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a prepared statement. When the USDOT sought applications for TIGER I grants in September 2009, it received about 1,500 responses involving $60 billion worth of projects, or 40 times the $1.5 billion available under that program.
“The wave of applications for both TIGER II and TIGER I dollars shows the back-log of needed infrastructure improvements and the desire for more flexible funds,” said LaHood. “This also shows the opportunities still before us to create jobs, to reduce congestion, make wise environmental choices and help generate lasting economic growth.”
The USDOT will award TIGER II grants on a competitive basis to projects deemed to have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area, such as those that would improve the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems, increase energy efficiency or reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Final applications were due Aug. 23; the USDOT expects to name grant recipients within the next several months.
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