TIGER grant request at $10.2 billion, surpasses available funding

An “overwhelming demand” for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants has far surpassed available funding, with applications to the U.S. Department of Transportation for TIGER 2012 grants totaling $10.2 billion, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced on April 5.

This number of applications “far exceeding the $500 million set aside for the program.”  The Department received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, according to LaHood.

“President Obama has challenged us to invest in an America that is built to last, and it’s clear that communities across America can’t afford to wait any longer to get started,” said LaHood in a written statement. “At a time when gas prices are high, it’s more important than ever that we invest in projects that will relieve congestion, improve the safety of our transportation systems, and provide Americans with affordable, efficient options for reaching their destinations.”

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

The previous three rounds of the TIGER program provided $2.6 billion to 172 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous three rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 3,348 applications requesting more than $95 billion for transportation projects across the country.