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Latest Round of TIGER Showcases Innovative Infrastructure Nationwide

Latest Round of TIGER Showcases Innovative Infrastructure Nationwide

For the past 8 years, the TIGER program has been a showcase of American ingenuity, and this year is no exception.

Today, I’m proud to announce the award of nearly $500 million toward innovative infrastructure projects nationwide – funding projects in 40 communities across the country, including 32 states and 2 U.S. territories.

Picture of I-579 in downtown Pittsburgh - courtesy user Enlightenedment/Wikimedia Commons

I-579 in downtown Pittsburgh. Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Throughout its 8-year history, TIGER has not only renewed federal investment in critical infrastructure – putting $5.1 billion into 421 projects in all – it has re-energized communities by sparking local and private investments in our transportation network, as well.

This year’s TIGER program alone will turn that nearly $500 million into $1.74 billion in overall transportation investments in our communities. That’s real money that will make a real difference in people’s lives.

When I announced the opportunity to apply for 2016 TIGER funds back in February, I challenged communities nationwide to think creatively about how to address our mobility challenges.

As always, America rose to the challenge.

In fact, demand for TIGER funds was sky-high: 585 applications seeking over $9 billion. You can imagine how difficult it was to narrow down these nearly 600 applications to 40 grant winners – but those 40 projects each represent compelling efforts to make transportation safer and to improve their communities.

One great example is the North Avenue Rising project in Baltimore, Maryland, which will revitalize a key east-west route through the heart of the city and connect communities to essential services and opportunities.

TIGER can also be an avenue to re-imagine the legacy infrastructure of our past. In Pittsburgh, by capping a section of highway that has historically divided the Hill District from downtown, the I-579 Cap Urban Connector Project will restore a key link to opportunity and free up green space in the process.

Baltimore and Pittsburgh exhibit the kinds of creative solutions to persistent issues that we at the Department of Transportation have been highlighting through the Ladders of Opportunity initiative.

We’re also excited about innovative projects like the new highway freight interchange in Scott County, Minnesota, that will help address the critical need to more efficiently move goods to meet rising demand.

The projects funded through TIGER are as diverse as the nation – encompassing urban, rural, and tribal territories alike, and every mode of transportation from highways and bridges to airports and waterways.

The only issue with TIGER is that we need to be doing more of it – much more. During the previous seven rounds, we received more than 7,300 applications requesting more than $143 billion for transportation projects across the country.  That shows enormous unmet demand for infrastructure investment from coast to coast.

That’s why President Obama’s 2017 budget requests $1.25 billion for TIGER – to make sure that our economy is poised to meet the needs of the future.

These investments are a no-brainer. They meet critical needs, make our economy more competitive, and leverage further investment from local and private sources to maximize the impact of each project.

And more importantly, they continue the important work that communities across the country are doing to make our transportation system safer and to expand opportunity for all Americans.

Learn more about this year’s TIGER grants at transportation.gov/TIGER.

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