A bipartisan group of senators is proposing legislation to extend the Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program through fiscal 2018, but stops short of authorizing a specific amount for grants.
The extended TIGER program would have many of the same features and requirements as the previous TIGER rounds, with the addition of loan guarantees to the previous grant-only rounds.
Projects from $10 million to $500 million may be funded, except in rural areas where TIGER money could fund projects above $1 million; eligible projects include highways and bridges, public transportation, passenger or freight rail, and port infrastructure improvements.
The sponsors, senators Patty Murray, D-Wash., Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Dick Durbin, D-Ill., represent states that have recently benefited from transportation infrastructure grants. Washington received $34 million for replacing a bridge connecting downtown Seattle with the port and airport.
DOT gave Maine a grant to repair 233 miles of railroad in the northern portion of the state, plus a $22 million TIGER grant was used to build an intermodal transportation center and downtown redevelopment in Normal, Ill.
The bill joins another filed by Sen. Jay Rockefeller IV, D-W.V., that calls for a $5 billion infrastructure fund to be administered by DOT.
--Contact R.G. Edmonson at email@example.com.