70 Sustainable Development Transportation Projects Receive $600 Million

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced today that 42 construction projects and 33 planning projects in 40 states will receive nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s "Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery" (TIGER) program. The projects range from upgrades to highways and bridges to improvements in public transit, rail and ports.

This is the second round of TIGER funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). The first round, announced on February 17, 2009, included 51 grants totaling $1.5 billion. TIGER grants are made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, more popularly known as "The Stimulus."

“These are innovative, 21st century projects that will change the U.S. transportation landscape by strengthening the economy and creating jobs, reducing gridlock and providing safe, affordable and environmentally sustainable transportation choices,” said Secretary LaHood.  “Many of these projects could not have been funded without this program.”

Roughly 29 percent of TIGER II money goes for road projects, 26 percent for transit, 20 percent for rail projects, 16 percent for ports, four percent for bicycle and pedestrian projects, and five percent for planning.

Among the projects funded under TIGER II is a $47.6 million project in the City of Atlanta for construction of a new streetcar line connecting many of that city's most important downtown residential, cultural, educational and historic centers. Projects like these reflect USDOT’s commitment to improving the quality of life in major metropolitan areas.

Another $20 million went to the New Hampshire DOT for replacing the Memorial Bridge that connects Portsmouth, NH, with Kittery, ME. The bridge has reached the end of its service life and has been given a "bridge sufficiency" rating of only six (out of a possible 100). The old bridge is now limited to vehicles weighing less than three tons, which basically means that all truck traffic must detour to other routes. Projects like these reflect USDOT's commitment to upgrading and repairing the nation’s aging roads and highways.

A third project involves a $546 million loan to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority for use in building the new Crenshaw-to-LAX Light Rail Line. This kind of project exemplifies USDOT’s commitment to regional transportation projects that create jobs in the short term and increase a region's economic competitiveness and livability in the long term.

More than $140 million of the total amount was awarded to projects in rural areas.

The TIGER program relies on merit-based evaluation criteria to identify the best projects around the country, particularly those that will have a significant impact on the nation, a region or a metropolitan area by contributing to long-term economic competitiveness, improving existing transportation facilities and systems, increasing energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving transportation safety, and/or enhancing quality of life.

A complete list of capital grant recipients is available at: http://www.dot.gov/docs/tiger2grantinfo.pdf

A complete list of planning grant recipients is available at: http://www.dot.gov/docs/tiger2planninggrantinfo.pdf

More later ...

Photo credit: USDOT