Demand Demonstrates Need for Greater Transportation Investment through GROW AMERICA Act
WATERBURY, Ct. – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced a $14.4 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant to the City of Waterbury, Conn., for the Waterbury Active Transportation and Economic Resurgence (WATER) project that will reconstruct and expand the local streets, provide a broad array of pedestrian and bicycle safety improvements and improve connections to transit. The project is one of 72 federally-funded transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia that will receive a total of nearly $600 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s discretionary grant program. Under Secretary Peter Rogoff traveled to Waterbury for the local announcement.
“As uncertainty about the future of long-term federal funding continues, this round of TIGER will be a shot in the arm for these innovative, job-creating and quality of life-enhancing projects,” said Secretary Foxx. “This TIGER investment is going to build a ladder to expanded opportunity for the residents of Waterbury by providing safer, more reliable, and efficient access to job opportunities across the region while contributing to the economic revitalization of the city. For every project we select, however, we must turn dozens more away – projects that could be getting done if Congress passed the GROW AMERICA Act, which would double the funding available for TIGER and growing the number of projects we could support.”
This TIGER investment will go toward constructing an integrated system of “active transportation” improvements to help revitalize Waterbury’s river/rail corridor neighborhoods and downtown center and drive the economic resurgence of the city and region. When complete, the project will increase the access of city residents to jobs outside of the city, enabling thousands of people in predominantly minority and low-income neighborhoods to reach mass transit services. Reconstruction of Freight and Jackson Streets and upgraded bicycle and pedestrian facilities will increase the access and mobility of city residents to jobs inside and outside of the city, thus enabling thousands of people in predominantly minority and low-income neighborhoods to reach mass transit options and access employment opportunities.
“In improving local streets and providing better facilities for bicycles and pedestrians, WATER is providing ladders of opportunity to the citizens of Waterbury by increasing transportation options to jobs in one of the highest unemployed markets in Connecticut and providing a boost to riverfront corridor neighborhoods,” said Under Secretary Peter Rogoff.
“TIGER grants are an important part of helping America’s roads and bridges keep pace with the demands of the traveling public,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Gregory Nadeau. “They are a good start, but they are no substitute for the GROW AMERICA Act’s promise of long-term U.S. infrastructure investment.”
The GROW AMERICA Act, the Administration’s surface transportation reauthorization proposal, would authorize $5 billion over four years for much-needed additional TIGER funding to help meet the overwhelming demand for significant infrastructure investments around the country and provide the certainty that states and local governments need to properly plan for investment. The $302 billion, four-year transportation reauthorization proposal would provide increased and stable funding for the nation’s highways, bridges, transit and rail systems without contributing to the deficit. The GROW AMERICA Act also includes several critical program reforms to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of federal highway, rail and transit programs.
The Department received 797 eligible applications from 49 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, an increase from the 585 applications received in 2013. Overall, applicants requested 15 times the $600 million available for the program, or $9.5 billion for needed transportation projects.
Since 2009, the TIGER program has provided nearly $4.1 billion to 342 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during the previous five rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 6,000 applications requesting more than $124 billion for transportation projects across the country. Congress provided the most recent funding as part of the bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014, signed by President Obama on January 17, 2014.
Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants.
Click here for additional information on the Department of Transportation’s 2014 TIGER Program.
Click here for additional information on the GROW AMERICA Act.