The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has made $474 million available for the fifth round of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program.
“President Obama has challenged us to make sure our nation’s transportation infrastructure is up to the job of attracting and supporting businesses and the families that rely on them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “TIGER 2013 will contribute to increased mobility for people and freight and economic growth by helping to improve existing and develop new transportation facilities that will strengthen our competitiveness and create jobs.”
Projects eligible for TIGER grants include highways and bridges, public transportation, passenger and freight rail transportation and marine port infrastructure investments. Grants may range in size from $10 million to $200 million. Grants to rural areas may be for less than $10 million, but must be more than $1 million. No less than $120 million must be awarded to projects in rural areas.
The four previous rounds of TIGER provided $3.1 billion to support 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, with more than 4,050 applicants requesting more than $105.2 billion during the previous rounds.
The FY 2013 Appropriations Act requires that TIGER funds be obligated before October 1, 2014. The limited amount of time means the USDOT will give priority to projects that are ready to proceed quickly. In addition to project readiness, primary selection criteria includes improving the condition of existing transportation facilities and systems; contributing to the economic competitiveness of the United States and creating and preserving jobs; increasing transportation choices and access to transportation services for people in communities across the U.S.; improving energy efficiency, reducing dependence on oil and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving safety. Applications are due June 3, 2013.