Nearly $10 billion in TIGER transportation grants sought this year

While only $500 million initially was allocated for the federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program, $9.8 billion in applications has been filed in the seventh round of grants.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the TIGER grant is in great demand and that this year's allocation further demonstrates the continued need for transportation investment nationwide.

“The consistent number of high-quality projects we’re unable to fund through TIGER every year demonstrates the need for Congress to act to give more communities access to this vital lifeline,” Foxx said. “That is why we proposed doubling TIGER in the GROW AMERICA Act.”

The demand for infrastructure investments from across the nation, and for all types of transportation projects, has been overwhelming. Among the 625 applications received this year, 60 percent are road projects, 18 percent are mass-transit projects and 8 percent are rail projects, with port and bicycle-pedestrian applications each representing 6 percent of the total. The department received applications from all 50 states and U.S. territories. There were 565 applications submitted in 2014.

Earlier this year, the transportation agency reintroduced an improved surface-transportation re-authorization bill, the GROW AMERICA Act, which would provide $7.5 billion in funding over six years for the TIGER grant program. Under the GROW AMERICA Act, the TIGER grant program would be available for another six years, extending a proven track record of helping communities coordinate innovative, multi-modal transportation projects that serve the diverse travel needs of their residents and businesses in the 21st century.

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