U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced that the overwhelming demand for TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants has once again far surpassed the available funding. Applications for TIGER III grants totaled $14.1 billion, far exceeding the $527 million set aside for the program. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) received 828 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
"The tremendous demand for TIGER grants clearly shows that communities across the country cannot wait any longer for crucial upgrades to the roads, bridges, rail lines and bus routes they rely on every day," said Secretary LaHood. "It's important to make these vital investments in transportation so we can put Americans back to work rebuilding our nation's crumbling transportation systems."
Earlier this month, President Obama directed DOT to expedite application review and award the TIGER III grants by the end of 2011 — months ahead of schedule. This is the third round of TIGER grants that will be competitively awarded to the most deserving projects across the country. In 2009 and 2010, the department received a total of 2,400 applications requesting $76 billion, greatly exceeding the $2.1 billion available in TIGER I and TIGER II grants. In the previous two rounds the TIGER program awarded construction and planning grants to 126 freight, highway, transit, port and bicycle/pedestrian projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.