The freight sector is getting big pieces of the Department of Transportation's 2010 grant fund it calls "TIGER II."
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood unveiled a list of 42 capital construction projects and 33 more in the planning stage that will share in the $600 million grant pool, which allocated the money on a competitive basis.
The awards include a congested rail yard used by major carriers in Fort Worth, Texas, and dual purpose projects including rail access for the Port of Miami and a rail yard for the Port of Los Angeles, a marine highway project for Port Manatee, Fla., and repairs to reopen a port-owned rail line at Coos Bay, Ore.
Other port and freight-access road and rail projects are also included, along with various highway projects plus transit system or bicycle projects that can reduce congestion on roadways used by commercial trucks.
The DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery unit culled the applicants from over 1,000 funding requests valued over $19 billion from all across the country.
TIGER II news from JOC:
State Demand Overwhelms DOT Grant Program.
The initial TIGER fund was a $1.5 billion discretionary grant pool set up in the 2009 stimulus law, so the DOT kept that title when Congress appropriated the $600 million for a second round of similar grants this year.
Some in Congress have considered adding a third year of TIGER grant money for the DOT, but the Obama administration wants to expand the idea with a broader transportation infrastructure bank that could administer loan programs and issue project grants. And the DOT used the TIGER II announcement to tout President Obama's recent call for Congress to approve another $50 billion to bridge the gap between this year's transport infrastructure spending and whatever will come in the next six-year surface transportation program.
LaHood said the latest awards are for innovative 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."
Many of them would not have gone forward without the grant money, he said.
The DOT said about 29 percent of the TIGER II money is aimed at road projects, 26 percent for transit, 20 percent for rail, 16 percent for ports, 4 percent for bike and pedestrian projects plus 5 percent for planning projects. It also marked the first the first time the DOT joined with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in jointly making some awards.
-- Contact John D. Boyd at email@example.com.