Reconnecting America Welcomes Announcement of TIGER 2012 Grant Awards
Reconnecting America President and CEO John Robert Smith welcomed the Department of Transportation's announcement of $500 million in funding for TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 grants across the country, especially in small towns and rural areas.
“These are the kinds of projects that will create jobs, spur local economic development, revive our city centers, and create regional integrated transportation solutions," Smith said. “This $500 million will fund critical projects in cities and regions large and small such as intermodal rail improvements at the Port of Oakland, rural bus service in Muskegon, MI, an intercity passenger rail service in Raleigh, NC, and a transit facility in Marty, SD serving the Yankton Sioux Tribe.”
As LaHood explained in the grant announcement, TIGER is a highly competitive program that funds projects which are difficult or impossible to fund through other federal programs. These federal funds are leveraged with money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies. In all, LaHood’s department received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia seeking funding for projects totaling more than $10.2 billion.
“The new round of TIGER grants continues to demonstrate the need for federal transportation revenues that can leverage innovative financing tools and promote collaboration among states, regions and the private sector,” Smith said. “The selected projects demonstrate that innovative strategies are being developed by cities and counties, regardless of their size.”
According to LaHood’s announcement roughly 35 percent of the TIGER 2012 funding will go to road and bridge projects, including more than $30 million for the replacement of rural roads and bridges that need improvements to address safety and state of good repair deficiencies.