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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

DOT 68-12 Houston, Texas
Friday, June 22, 2012
Contact: Nancy Singer
Tel: 202-366-0660

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces $15 Million in TIGER Funding for Houston's Regional Multimodal Connections Project

HOUSTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced a $15 million TIGER grant for Houston's Regional Multimodal Connections project, one of 47 transportation projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation's highly competitive $500 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 program.

"This investment means good construction jobs for people in Houston today and greater mobility to get to jobs in the future," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "President Obama's support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country building roads, bridges and other projects that will mean better, safer transportation for generations to come."

The Houston Regional Multimodal Connections project, with significant support from the business community, will eliminate major gaps in Houston's bike grid and provide extensive connections to bus and rail transportation, employment centers and residences. It will create bikeways that run parallel to some of the most congested roads in Houston, providing an attractive alternative to sitting in traffic. The bikeways will connect three of Houston's most disadvantaged neighborhoods, the Northside Village, Fifth Ward and Third Ward, and to downtown, Midtown, Medical Center and other employment centers. The project includes building 7.5 miles of off-street shared-use paths, 2.8 miles of sidewalks, and 7.9 miles of on-street bikeways.

Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez joined Houston Mayor Annise Parker and other officials in Houston for the announcement.

"Providing more transportation options helps support economic growth by putting people to work and making jobs and businesses more accessible," said Administrator Mendez. "This project will connect communities and create more opportunities in the Houston area."

The TIGER program is a highly competitive grant program that is able to fund innovative projects difficult or impossible to fund through other federal programs. In many cases, these grants will serve as the final piece of funding for infrastructure investments totaling $1.7 billion in overall project costs. These federal funds are being leveraged with money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.

TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation, a trend continued by TIGER 2012. Applications for this most recent round of grants totaled $10.2 billion, far exceeding the $500 million set aside for the program. In all, the Department received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

The grants will fund a wide range of innovative transportation projects in urban and rural areas across the country:

  • Of the $500 million in TIGER 2012 funds available for grants, more than $120 million will go to critical projects in rural areas.

  • Roughly 35 percent of the funding will go to road and bridge projects, including more than $30 million for the replacement of rural roads and bridges that need improvements to address safety and state of good repair deficiencies.

  • 16 percent of the funding will support transit projects like the Wave Streetcar Project in Fort Lauderdale.

  • 13 percent of the funding will support high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects like the Raleigh Union Station Project in North Carolina.

  • 12 percent will go to freight rail projects, including elements of the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) program to reduce freight rail congestion in Chicago.

  • 12 percent will go to multimodal, bicycle and pedestrian projects like the Main Street to Main Street Multimodal Corridor project connecting Memphis and West Memphis.

  • 12 percent will help build port projects like the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal at the Port of Oakland.

  • Three grants were also directed to tribal governments to create jobs and address critical transportation needs in Indian country.

Over the next six months, 27 projects are expected to break ground from the previous three rounds of TIGER. In addition, work is under way on 64 capital projects across the country.

On November 18, 2011, the President signed the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, which provided $500 million for Department of Transportation national infrastructure investments. Like the first three rounds, TIGER 2012 grants are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are awarded on a competitive basis. This is the fourth round of TIGER funding.

Under all four rounds combined, the TIGER program has provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during all four rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 4,050 applications requesting more than $105.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.

The fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate provides $500 million for a future round of TIGER grants.

Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants http://www.dot.gov/tiger/fy2012tiger.pdf

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Page last modified on September 14, 2012.
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