The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released official information surrounding the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) 2015 program, which will provide $500 million for 39 transportation projects in 34 states.
USDOT said it received 627 eligible applications requesting $10.1 billion, 20 times the $500 million available for the program. The department says it focused on projects that improve safety, support innovation and connect communities to opportunity.
“Transportation is always about the future. If we’re just fixing today’s problems, we’ll fall further and further behind. We already know that a growing population and increasing freight traffic will require our system to do more,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “In this round of TIGER, we selected projects that focus on where the country’s transportation infrastructure needs to be in the future; ever safer, ever more innovative and ever more targeted to open the floodgates of opportunity across America.”
Elected officials released their own press releases concerning $170 million in rail related projects that will benefit from TIGER grants earlier this week. However, with the official word from USDOT, total funds committed to rail-related projects have increased. Additional projects that are either specific to the rail industry or have a rail component to them include:
- $25 million to the city of Charlotte and North Carolina Department of Transportation for the Charlotte Gateway Station Track and Safety Improvements project that will remove existing track infrastructure, construct bridge and retaining structures, install station tracks and install signals to facilitate the Charlotte Gateway Station.
- $15 million to the Arizona Department of Transportation for the SR 347 Grade Separation Project, which will grade separate the intersection of State Route 347 and a Union Pacific double track line. Additionally, the project will relocate an existing passenger rail station and construct rail siding to provide off-main rail line loading/unloading of passenger trains.
- $10 million to the San Diego Unified Port District for the Tenth Avenue Marine Terminal Modernization Project that will modernize the port by removing two obsolete transit sheds and construct a new laydown area with on-dock rail improvements.
- $10 million to the Ports of Indiana for the Port of Indiana – Jeffersonville Truck-to-Rail and Rail-to-Water Improvements Project, which will construct a double rail loop and barge transload facility with additional siding and turnouts. The project also includes construction of a rail siding extension and a truck-to-rail intermodal facility.
All in, rail related projects account for 46 percent of the awarded TIGER funds available in this round. Freight rail projects were awarded $70 million; passenger rail projects $50.2 million and rail transit $45.2 million. Those projects with rail-related elements that were classified by the USDOT as maritime projects were awarded $32.3 million and road projects with rail elements were awarded $33 million.
This is the seventh TIGER round since 2009, bringing the total grant amount to $4.6 billion provided to 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. USDOT says demand for the program has been overwhelming; to date the department has received more than 6,700 applications requesting more than $134 billion for transportation projects across the country.