DOT 84-14 Florida
MIAMI – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced that the Florida Department of Transportation has been awarded a $20 million TIGER grant that will go toward replacing the Tamiami Trail (US-41) with an elevated 2.6-mile bridge that will help restore natural storm water flows into the Everglades National Park (ENP) and Northeast Shark River, while preserving a critical transportation link between Southwest Florida and Miami. The U.S. Department of Transportation is providing approximately $600 million for 72 transportation projects in 46 states and the District of Columbia from its TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2014 program. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Transportation Victor Mendez traveled to Miami 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 is a critical TIGER investment to ensure that the Everglades ecosystem is preserved for the enjoyment of generations to come while modernizing a bridge that is long overdue. 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.”
The TIGER grant will help replace part of the Tamiami Trail with a new two-and-a-half mile elevated bridge – effectively fixing a problem that’s existed since the Trail was built more than 85 years ago. The increased elevation of the bridge will allow natural water flow through the Everglades while also allowing an important hurricane evacuation route to function in high-water conditions. This new bridge will help restore the environmental sustainability of the Everglades ecosystem, while enhancing safety and South Florida’s economic competiveness.
“The bridge will strengthen a key transportation link between Miami and Southwest Florida, and keep a critical hurricane evacuation route from flooding,” said Deputy Secretary Mendez. “And it meets a commitment made by President Obama and the State of Florida to protect and sustain the Everglades by restoring the area’s natural water flow.”
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 project.
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.