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USDOT: $500M for Transportation Projects

Thursday, February 25, 2016

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The United States Department of Transportation is accepting applications for funding targeted at U.S. surface transportation projects through its TIGER competitive grant program.

For the fiscal year 2016 funding window, $500 million is available for transportation projects across the country under the DOT’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced in a statement Tuesday (Feb. 23).

“I am proud that for seven rounds, TIGER has been able to make a valuable contribution to improving our nation’s transportation infrastructure, and I look forward to this year’s competition,” Foxx said.

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The USDOT is making $500 million is available for transportation projects across the country under the its Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program; applications are due April 29.

Applications are due April 29.

Capital Investments

TIGER discretionary grants, which are provided for in the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016, signed by President Obama on Dec. 18, 2015, are intended to fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure.

According to program guidelines, funds are awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region.

The investments focus on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural.

Capital projects that include but are not limited to:

  • Highway or bridge projects eligible under Title 23, United States Code (including bicycle and pedestrian related projects);
  • Public transportation projects eligible under Chapter 53 of Title 49, United States Code;
  • Passenger and freight rail transportation projects;
  • Port infrastructure investments (including inland port infrastructure); and
  • Intermodal projects.

“The TIGER program funds vital transportation projects that provide real benefits to communities all across the country,” Foxx said. “Every year, we see hundreds of compelling applications that have the potential to improve people's access to economic opportunities, make people safer, and improve their well-being.”

Per the Consolidated Appropriations Act, dedicated funding is not available for the planning, preparation, or design of capital projects, although these activities may be funded as part of an overall construction project.

Program Parameters

Successful TIGER projects, the TIGER site explains, leverage resources, encourage partnership, catalyze investment and growth, fill a critical void in the transportation system or provide a substantial benefit to the nation, region or metropolitan area in which the project is located.

Eligible applicants include state, local and tribal governments, including U.S. territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), and other political subdivisions of state or local governments, according to the guidelines.

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The TIGER program provides an opportunity for the agency to support road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives but are difficult to fund through traditional federal programs.

The agency expects to receive hundreds of applications to build and repair critical pieces of the nation’s freight and passenger transportation networks. In order to help the DOT judge projects based on their merits, applicants are required to detail the benefits their project would deliver in terms of safety, economic competitiveness, state of good repair, quality of life and environmental sustainability. DOT also evaluates projects on innovation, partnerships, project readiness, benefit cost analysis and cost share.

In regard to funding, the minimum award is $5 million for projects located in urban areas and $1 million for projects located in rural areas.

The maximum award is $100 million, and no more than $100 million may be awarded to projects in a single state, the guidelines state. Over the past seven rounds of funding, awards are reported to have ranged from $1 million to $105 million, with the average award being $14.5 million. 

Additional requirements and information are available at

Final applications are to be submitted through Access to the “Apply” function will be made available Feb. 26. 

Program Background

According to the DOT, the TIGER program provides a unique opportunity for the agency to support road, rail, transit and port projects that promise to achieve national objectives but are difficult to fund through traditional federal programs.

Launched in 2009, TIGER is reported to have provided nearly $4.6 billion to 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, including 134 projects to support rural and tribal communities. 

During the previous seven rounds, the DOT received more than 6,700 applications requesting more than $134 billion for transportation projects across the country.

The 2015 TIGER round alone is leveraging $500 million in federal investment to support $1.4 billion in overall transportation investments.

These federal funds leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, ports and transit agencies, the agency says. 


Tagged categories: Bridges; Department of Transportation (DOT); Funding; Grants; Infrastructure; North America; Ports; Program/Project Management; Rail; Roads/Highways; Transportation

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