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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) yesterday announced the availability of $500 million in discretionary grant funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017 set aside $500 million for National Infrastructure Investments, also known as TIGER grants, according to a USDOT press release. As with previous TIGER rounds, funds will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that have a significant impact on the United States, a metropolitan area or a region.The appropriations legislation specifies that TIGER grants must be between $5 million and $25 million. The minimum for rural areas is $1 million, however."The TIGER grant program is a highly competitive program whose winners will be awarded with the funding they need to rebuild the infrastructure of their communities," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. "TIGER grants will continue to fund innovative projects that will improve the safety of America’s passengers and goods."The selection criteria remain fundamentally the same as in previous TIGER grant years, USDOT officials said. However, the 2017 TIGER program will give special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to transportation for rural communities.TIGER applications are due Oct. 16. The USDOT will hold webinars on Sept. 13 and Sept. 19 to provide technical assistance for grant applicants.USDOT has awarded $5.1 billion for capital investments in surface transportation since the program was established in 2009.In his federal budget blueprint for fiscal-year 2018, President Trump has called for eliminating the TIGER program.
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