Huge Demand for Transportation Improvement Grants

The demand for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants is far above the funding available for them, DOT Secretary Ray LaHood said Nov. 15.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asid the demand for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants has once again dwarfed the funding available for them, which he said demonstrates the need across the country for infrastructure funding. Applications for TIGER III grants totaled $14.1 billion, far exceeding the $527 million set aside for the program.

DOT received 828 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C., the agency announced Nov. 15.

"The tremendous demand for TIGER grants clearly shows that communities across the country cannot wait any longer for crucial upgrades to the roads, bridges, rail lines, and bus routes they rely on every day," LaHood said. "It's important to make these vital investments in transportation so we can put Americans back to work rebuilding our nation's crumbling transportation systems."

President Obama has directed DOT to expedite application reviews and award the TIGER III grants by the end of 2011, months ahead of schedule. They will be competitively awarded. In 2009 and 2010, DOT received a total of 2,400 applications requesting $76 billion, when it had only $2.1 billion available. Awarded grants supported 126 freight, highway, transit, port, and bicycle/pedestrian projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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