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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) received 585 applications totaling $9.3 billion in requested funding for the 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced yesterday.The grant request total was over 18 times more than the $500 million in federal funding that will be awarded, according to a USDOT press release.Now in its eighth year, the TIGER program continues to attract demand from municipalities of all sizes, with 337 applications coming from urban areas and 248 from rural communities."As we have seen year after year, there are far more worthy projects than we can fund through TIGER, demonstrating the need for a serious, long-term investment in transportation funding," said Foxx.TIGER VIII grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure. They will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, city or a region. This year, the program will focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation in urban or rural communities.The grant program began as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The funds leverage money from the private sector, states, local and tribal governments, metropolitan planning organizations, ports and transit agencies. Since 2009, more than $4.6 billion worth of TIGER grants have funded a total 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The 2015 program alone helped communities leverage $500 million in federal investment to support $1.4 billion in overall transportation investments, USDOT officials said.