Long-time readers of REVITALIZATION will have see many examples of the revitalizing power that Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants have had on communities around the country.
Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.6 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over nine rounds of competitive grants. Throughout the TIGER program, these grants have supported projects that have a significant regenerative impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.
On March 9, 2018, the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) announced the list of 41 recipients of nearly $500 million in discretionary grant funding for road, transit, maritime and rail projects through the TIGER program.
“TIGER grants are targeted investments for our local communities that will increase safety, create jobs and modernize our country’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
More than 64% of this round of TIGER funding was awarded to rural projects, a historic number that demonstrates this Administration’s commitment to supporting the country’s rural communities. Tribal projects are receiving $39.18 million of this round of awards, the highest amount of funding since the first round of TIGER.
The primary selection criteria for TIGER awards include considerations for safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life and environmental sustainability for each project. Secondary criteria include innovation and partnerships. The criteria used to select projects for these grants were similar to the Administration’s Infrastructure principles of supporting economic vitality and promoting innovation.
The fiscal year (FY) 2017 TIGER program gave special consideration to projects which emphasized improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness.
The projects supported by the latest TIGER discretionary grants are listed here:
- Summerhill Bus Rapid Transit Project, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, $12,629,760 – to implement an approximately 9.4-mile bus rapid transit route connecting the Summerhill neighborhood anchored by Georgia State University to MARTA’s heavy rail system and the Atlanta Streetcar network.
- Chippewa Valley Regional Transit Transfer Center Revitalization Project, City of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, $5,000,000 – to construct a transit transfer center in downtown Eau Claire and purchase four new buses to be used by the Eau Claire Transit system.
- MT Highway 64 – Rural Commuter Corridor Project, Gallatin County, Montana, $10,292,000 – to make several changes that will collectively improve the transportation network that connects northern Gallatin County to Big Sky, Montana.
- Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Passing Lane Project, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, $2,000,000 – to upgrades a 2.5-mile rural portion of US Highway 160 by adding approximately 6,000 feet of passing lanes in each direction, three new box culverts, signage, guardrails, widened shoulders, and access improvements.
- SR 189 Flyovers: Grade Separating the Trucks from the Town, Arizona Department of Transportation, $25,000,000 – to implement access management solutions on SR 189 including raised medians, pavement widening, flyover ramps, and new roundabouts.
- Southeast Automotive Gateway, Alabama State Port Authority, $12,700,000 – to convert an abandoned bulk handling facility at the Port of Mobile into a roll-on/roll-off mobile vehicle processing facility.
- Repair of the Jaype to Lewiston Rail Line, Clearwater County, Idaho, $3,240,960 – to repair three bridges along the rail line from Jaype to Lewiston, removes debris from 18 bridges, and repairs 5 washouts along the 30-mile Jaype Line.
- Mid-Atlantic Multi-Modal Transportation Hub, Baltimore County, Maryland, $20,000,000 – to build state-of-the-art cargo-handling facilities at the Sparrows Point industrial facility in East Baltimore as part of a larger investment program to repurpose a former steel manufacturing site with marine service into a multimodal logistics hub.
- Carson City Gateway: South Carson Street Complete Streets, Carson City, Nevada, $7,570,202 – to construct an approximately 2.5-mile complete streets corridor, including a corridor-wide road diet, a roundabout, a multi-use path, dedicated bicycle facilities, pedestrian safety improvements, stormwater infrastructure, and fiber-optic communications infrastructure to support intelligent transportation systems (ITS).
- I-89 Lebanon, NH, Hartford, VT Bridge Reconstruction and Widening, State of New Hampshire, $10,000,000 – to replace the deck and superstructure of the two bridges carrying I-89 over the Connecticut River between Lebanon, NH and Hartford, VT, in addition to repairing and rehabilitating the existing substructures.
- Blue Ridge Road Grade Separation and Intersection Improvements, North Carolina Department of Transportation, $19,900,000 – to eliminate an at-grade crossing by lowering the Blue Ridge Road from its existing grade to pass under the North Carolina Railroad (NCRR) right-of-way.
- Mill City Downtown Restoration and Revitalization Project, Mill City, Oregon, $8,082,574 – to repair and renovate the North Santiam River Bridge, a rural major collector on a designated freight route near Mill City, Oregon.
- Northstar Boulevard (U.S. Route 50 to Shreveport Drive), Loudon County, Virginia, $25,000,000 – to construct a new 1.6-mile segment of Northstar Boulevard to complete a 14-mile north-south corridor connecting to U.S. Route 50.
- Penquis Region Rural Bridges Project, Maine Department of Transportation, $10,836,220 – to replace three structurally deficient or fracture-critical highway bridges in Piscataquis and Penobscot counties.
- Lincoln South Beltway Project, State of Nebraska, $25,000,000 – to construct a new freeway, the Lincoln South Beltway, that will serve as the primary route between U.S. Highway 77 (US-77) and existing Nebraska Highway 2 (N- 2).
- Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge, Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority, New York, $2,000,000 – to replace a failing lead-based paint protection system on steel girder spans of the U.S. approach of the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.
- Downtown Akron Promenade (Phase Two), City of Akron, Ohio, $8,000,743 – to design and reconstruct a portion of South Main Street to incorporate complete streets elements including roadway reconstruction with traffic calming and a road diet, streetscape improvements, upgraded traffic signals, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, bus shelter enhancements, lighting, wayfinding signage, and improved stormwater management.
- US 78 Phase 2 Bridge Improvements, Dorchester County, South Carolina, $13,250,000 – to improve an 8.2-mile section of US 78 between the cities of Summerville and St. George. Project elements include road resurfacing, shoulder construction, road widening, and intersection improvements.
- BIA Highway 10 Reconstruction Project, Lower Brule Sioux Tribe, $21,000,000 – to reconstruct BIA 10, which will involve asphalt resurfacing and installing new culverts, base course, rumble strips, and pavement markings.
- Beartooth Highway Reconstruction Project, Wyoming Department of Transportation, $16,600,000 – to reconstruct approximately 1.6 miles of Beartooth Highway (U.S. Highway 212), completing a reconstruction of the full 67-mile length of the highway.
- Securing Multimodal Freight Corridors in the Ozarks, City of Fort Smith, Arkansas, $8,527,892 – to repair and rehabilitate three rail bridges that cross Clear Creek and the Arkansas River.
- Route 132 Gateway Express Phase 1, City of Modesto, California, $9,000,000 – to construct approximately four miles of new access controlled freeway beginning just west of Modesto and continuing west toward the 1-5 corridor.
- Interstate 57 Safety Project, Illinois Department of Transportation, $7,600,000 – to expand approximately five miles of Interstate 57 to add an additional lane in each direction, install a median barrier, resurface the existing lanes, update pavement markings and deficient guardrails, and install raised reflectors and rumble strips.
- Wabash River Rail Bridge Infrastructure Revitalization, Indiana Department of Transportation, $10,000,000 – to replace two deteriorating freight rail approaches to the Wabash River Bridge, which serves as a rail link from energy and agricultural suppliers of Illinois to river ports of Mt. Vernon, Indiana.
- City of Burlington Downtown/Riverfront Revitalization Project, City of Burlington, Iowa, $17,000,000 – to convert parts of Main and Jefferson Streets into complete streets, constructing a linear multi-use path park, a new waterfront community gathering area and new parking lots, and installing new boat ramps and docking facilities for use by river cruise lines and recreational boaters.
- Reconstruction of the Chalmette Slip Project, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District, Louisiana, $13,000,000 – to rehabilitate to modern design standards the last two original wharf sections, A and F, which have been maintained but have exceeded their useful lives over the past 110 years.
- Southwest Chief Route Stabilization Project, Colfax County, New Mexico, $16,000,000 –to replace 60-year old bolted rail, associated turnouts and crossings for a net gain of 42 miles of Class 4 rail in the La Junta subdivision between Hutchinson, KS, and Las Animas, CO.
- High Plains Strategic Freight Rail Capacity Improvement Project, Oklahoma Department of Transportation, $9,901,793 – to implement a program of improvements to a Class III regional freight network to accommodate unit trains of loaded 286,000-pound railcars and increase operating speeds.
- Bridging the Trail Gap: Enhancing Regional Connections in Pennsylvania, City of Philadelphia, $12,000,000 – to fill the gap in the Schuylkill River Trail between Center City and Southwest Philadelphia.
- Route 37 Corridor Safety Sweep Project, Rhode Island Department of Transportation, $20,000,000 – replace four bridges, rehabilitate two bridges, preserve nine bridges, and improve multiple traffic bottleneck conditions along a 1.6-mile section of Route 37, a four-lane freeway located in Cranston and Warwick, RI. In addition, the project includes improvements to Pontiac Avenue intersections, several connecting arterials, and a Route 37 westbound exit ramp to Pontiac Ave.
- Houston Roadway Flood Warning System Project, City of Houston, Texas, $9,370,000 –to install approximately 40 Flood Warning System (FWS) locations. Intelligent Transportations Systems (ITS) devices will be deployed at each of these locations and include high water sensors, master stations, advance roadside yellow flashers where appropriate; approach overhead red flashers an signal mast arms over the travel lanes; and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras.
- Nelson Island Accessibility and Transportation Infrastructure Viability Enhancement (N.A.T.I.V.E.) Project, Nunakauyarmiut Tribe, $10,176,835 – to construct approximately 21 miles of multimodal trails comprising above ground, synthetic Geocell mats with an open configuration to protect native vegetation, including necessary fish culverts and bridges, connecting Toksook Bay to Nightmute and Umkumiut.
- Georgetown East Gateway, Delaware Department of Transportation, $7,000,000 – to construct multi-modal improvements at the intersection of US 9, Airport Road and Sandhill Road including roadway realignment, additional turn lanes, signal improvements, pavement resurfacing, bike lanes, sidewalks, crosswalks, transit stops, and lighting.
- Immokalee Complete Streets – Growing Connections to Create Mobility Opportunities, Collier County Board of County Commissioners, Florida, $13,132,691 – to construct complete streets improvements in Immokalee, Florida, including approximately 20 miles of new sidewalks, a bike boulevard network, a shared use path, street lighting, bus shelters, a new transit center, landscaping, drainage improvements, and intersection and traffic calming retreats.
- Frankfort Second Street Corridor Project, City of Frankfort, Kentucky, $7,990,000 – to reconstruct the Second Street corridor, including Second Street and East Main Street, into a complete street with wider sidewalks, improved signaling and intersection improvements, ADA accessibility, streetscape enhancements, bike lanes, and green infrastructure improvements.
- North Holly Road Project, Road Commission for Oakland County, Michigan, $3,000,000 – to resurface and implement safety improvements to approximately 4.5 miles of North Holly Road, including cutting hills to improve sight distance, raising the road in flood zones, and making improvements to high speed curves.
- Hightower Road Corridor Project, Mississippi State University, $7,000,000 – to complete an approximately two-mile, multimodal north/south corridor along Hightower Road and associated collector roads including sidewalks, bike lanes, transit shelters, signal improvements, and street lighting on the eastern perimeter of Mississippi State University.
- Jack Rabbit Road Reconstruction Project –Phase 1, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, $6,000,000 – to reconstruct approximately five miles of Jack Rabbit Road from roughly U.S. Highway 281/BIA Road 8 to BIA Road 15/BIA Road 8 on the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians Reservation.
- Baker Canyon and Dog Valley Climbing Lanes Project, Utah Department of Transportation, $15,000,000 – to construct three segments of climbing lanes, improve the chain-up area at the Dog Valley Pass interchange, and extend the wildlife fences and wildlife escape ramps on 1-15 near Dog Valley Pass and Baker Canyon in Millard County, Utah.
- Bridging the Valley: Barker Road Grade Separation Project, City of Spokane Valley, Washington, $9,020,149 – to replace an existing at-grade crossing at Barker Road with an overpass, close a second at-grade crossing at Flora Road, and replace the intersection of Barker Road and Trent Avenue with a roundabout.
- Route 3, Ramp A and Bridge over Rail Lines, New Jersey Department of Transportation, $18,260,000 – to replace the existing, structurally deficient Route 3 bridge over two rail lines and the nearby Ramp A adjacent the North Bergen Park and Ride Facility.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017 appropriated $500 million, available through September 30, 2020, for National Infrastructure Investments (otherwise known as TIGER grants). As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the FY 2017 TIGER grants program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The FY 2017 Appropriations Act specifies that TIGER Discretionary Grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except that for projects located in rural areas the minimum TIGER Discretionary Grant size is $1 million.
2005 photo by anonymous (via Wikipedia) shows downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin, which is receiving a TIGER grant for their Chippewa Valley Regional Transit Transfer Center Revitalization Project.