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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) yesterday began notifying members of Congress and state departments of transportation about rail, transit and port projects designated to receive Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) VI grants.The USDOT's TIGER grant program awards federal funds for significant rail, transit, port and road projects.Rail and transit projects and their TIGER VI grant amounts announced yesterday include: • $12.5 million for track improvements along Amtrak's Southwest Chief passenger-rail line in Colorado;• $12.2 million for M-1 Rail, the public-private partnership that is building a 3.3-mile streetcar line in Detroit;• $12 million to the South Dakota Department of Transportation to reconstruct a 41.6-mile portion of the state-owned MRC Railroad line between Chamberlain and Presho, including repairs to bridges and culverts, and the replacement of broken and damaged ties, to provide a vital link to grain elevators along the route;• $10.3 million for the Central Corridor Transit Enhancement and Job Access Program in St. Louis, Mo.; and• $8.2 million to upgrade the New England Central Railroad's line from New London, Conn., to the Massachusetts border, a Connecticut Department of Transportation project.Port projects and their TIGER VI grant amounts include:• $25 million for the Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replacement project in Maine, which will specifically replace the bridge's rail component that helps support the transport of materials from the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard;• $20 million to the Port of Seattle's Terminal 46 modernization project;• $15 million to fund the International Terminal Intermodal Gate Complex and Interstate 564 Connector project in Norfolk, Va.;• $10.8 million to the South Carolina Ports Authority for planned upgrades and improvements to its Wando Welch Terminal; and• $10 million for the Port of Lake Charles bulk terminal facility expansion in Louisiana.Overall, the USDOT received 797 TIGER VI grant applications seeking a total of $9.5 billion — 15 times the $600 million available through the program, said U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in a press release.
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