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When we talk about DOT's TIGER program, we often use the word, "transformative." Because the projects that we have selected for these grants since the program's beginning in 2009 have been projects that make a significant difference to their communities.

And this past weekend in Tulsa, I saw a terrific demonstration of TIGER's transformative power in not one --but two-- grrrrrreat! projects, the I-244 Bridges and the Riverside Drive-Gathering Place Multimodal Access Project...

Photo of Victor Mendez in Tulsa
Deputy Transportation Secretary Victor Mendez speaking at ribbon-cutting for I-244 Eastbound Bridge; photos by Stephen Pingry, Tulsa World.
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Over the past few days, I've toured some of the projects selected to receive TIGER grants this year, and that includes the TRI-Mississippi Three-County Road Improvements Program. Now, Claiborne, Franklin, and Jefferson are among those counties with the fewest transportation options in America. To get anywhere in these rural counties –to run errands, to go to school, to commute to area employers like Grand Gulf Nuclear– you have to drive. There’s no other option.

Which would be fine. Except, the counties’ roads are crumbling; they flood easily; and their bridges are greatly in need of repair.  In fact, 60 area bridges are rated “deficient.”

Photo of bridge in Franklin County

That’s why, this year, all of us at DOT were so pleased that Claiborne, Franklin, and Jefferson counties developed TRI-Mississippi to fix this problem...

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Five years ago, FHWA launched “Every Day Counts” (EDC), an initiative to speed up the delivery of highway projects and to address the challenges presented by strapped state transportation budgets. When it came to the business of delivering projects, our goals were simple yet ambitious: find ways to save time, save money, and save lives.

Working closely with the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), we’ve selected and promoted 34 innovations to our EDC roster, including 11 that we added just last month. This state-based effort is identifying and rapidly deploying proven but underutilized innovations to shorten project delivery, enhance roadway safety, reduce congestion, and improve environmental sustainability.

Regardless of what state you’re in, chances are you’ll see some of these innovations at work...

Photo of bridge sliding into place

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Photo of U.S.M.M.A. football players

We knew the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy’s win streak over the U.S. Coast Guard Academy couldn't last forever.

But through nearly three quarters of Saturday's football matchup between the USMMA Mariners —representing DOT— and the CGA Bears —representing the Department of Homeland Security— the Secretaries' Cup looked to be staying with the Mariners for a fourth straight year...

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The Everglades in Florida is one of America’s great treasures, a natural wonder that is home to thousands of species of fish and wildlife and Indian tribes who have called these lands home for millennia. It is also one of our most imperiled ecosystems, threatened by loss of water quality, well-intentioned but ecologically damaging water control projects of the past, and invasive species – all further exacerbated by the effects of a changing climate.

In recent decades, the Department of the Interior has worked hand-in-hand with the State of Florida, other federal agencies, tribes, conservation groups, private landowners, and other stakeholders to restore this great treasure.  We established the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area to conserve one of America’s last grassland and longleaf pine savannah landscapes while preserving the traditional way of life cherished by those who live in this area.

Last week, the Department of Transportation announced another important step in this process, approving a $20 million TIGER grant to help construct a 2.6-mile bridge across US-41 – the Tamiami Trail – in Miami Dade County to restore the flow of water through the Everglades.  I commend the strong leadership of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and the State of Florida for making this critical restoration effort a priority.

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Today, I’m pleased to announce the sixth round of DOT’s TIGER program. We’re making nearly $600 million in grants and awarding them to 72 transportation projects across 46 states and in DC.

Over the last six years, we’ve awarded more than $4 billion in these TIGER grants, but this round of investment is probably the most crucial ever...

Map of U.S. showing locations of TIGER projects

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The annual "Pro Bike, Pro Walk, Pro Place" Conference held this week in Pittsburgh was founded on the belief that greater access to walking and bicycling creates healthier individuals, more cohesive neighborhoods, and more vibrant communities. Here at DOT, we believe those are three pretty valuable goals, but like the transportation professionals gathered in Pittsburgh this week, we also know that access won't do a lick of good unless it's safe access.

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration make it clear: even as automobile travel has never been safer, pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths are on the rise. I went to Pittsburgh this week to let folks know that I think this is a problem, and that this Department is putting together the most innovative, forward-leaning, biking-walking safety initiative ever...

Photo ofSecretary Foxx at Pro Walk Pro Bike Pro Place 2014

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We all know the “road to prosperity” is a metaphor, but what if it were an actual road?

The fact is, investing in transportation creates value, and that means it’s a worthwhile investment—for public funds, yes, but also for the private sector. So, with public investments in our nation’s important transportation assets steadily declining, we need to find better ways to partner with private investors to help rebuild America...

Photo of backed up traffic on Tappan Zee Bridge

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On this anniversary of September 11, 2001, we honor those whose action in response to tragedy inspired what has become a National Day of Service.

We at DOT hope that the two video reflections here will serve as a reminder that when we all do our part--to help strangers as well as neighbors--our nation will not falter.

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With high schools and colleges back in session, and term projects under discussion, now is a good time for science and engineering students to begin thinking about solutions to transportation challenges.

Last week, we featured a blog post from NHTSA on an auto safety technology challenge. Today we've got something a little less grounded: the Secretary's annual Recognizing Innovation in Aviation & Aerospace Science and Engineering (RAISE) Award.  Through this program –now in its third year– we hope to identify and help develop the next generation of leaders in aviation and aerospace...

Photo of students working in aerospace lab

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