Complete Streets, transit-oriented development and multimodal transportation infrastructure projects around the country are getting major boosts thanks to a recently announced series of federal grants. On September 5, the Department of Transportation (DOT) announced the 52 projects, in 37 states, which will receive the fifth round of TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grants totaling $474 million.

"Modernizing infrastructure — our ports, our canals, our rails, our roads — does nothing but encourage manufacturers to come back to the United States because it enables them ... to efficiently compete with everyone around the world," Vice President Joe Biden said during a visit to the Port of Baltimore, the site of one of the grantees. The port, which is one of two East Coast ports ready for the super-sized ships that will begin using the expanded Panama Canal in 2015, will be expanded with dredged material and rails will be extended.

Among the other projects receiving grants are:

  • Complete Streets projects in Miami; Boston; Fresno; Atlanta; Fort Myers; Foley, Alabama; Rochester and Olean, New York; Goldsboro, North Carolina; and Warwick, Rhode Island;
  • Transit or transit-oriented development projects in cities of New Haven, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Raleigh, Nashville, El Paso, and Jackson, Wyoming;
  • Freight and passenger rail/transit service improvements in California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Texas, and Washington; and,
  • Port improvements for resiliency, multimodal connections, truck idling reduction and other purposes in Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Oregon and Texas.

For information on each project receiving a grant, see DOT's TIGER 2013 Award Fact Sheets .

There were 585 applications requesting $9 billion in resources, nearly 20 times the funding available. Each project is multimodal, multi-jurisdictional or otherwise challenging to fund through existing programs. There is clearly a nationwide demand for transportation infrastructure funding outside of traditional funding structures. Congress has several upcoming opportunities to address this demand, including the next surface transportation authorization bill. The current reauthorization expires in September 2014.

Author: Paul Haven