President Obama has challenged us to make sure our nation’s transportation infrastructure provides the mobility options necessary to attract and support the businesses and families that rely on them. And through four rounds of DOT's popular TIGER program, we've supported 218 projects that are helping do just that in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Today, we're taking the next step to keep moving our transportation infrastructure into the 21st century with a fifth round of TIGER funding. And, as excited as we are about TIGER 2013 here at DOT, I know that communities across the country are even more thrilled over this latest version of DOT's favorite cat.
The $474 million available for TIGER 2013 will help increase mobility--for people and for freight. The new and upgraded transportation facilities that will be built as a result will also strengthen our economic competitiveness and create jobs.
And because the Appropriations Act that funds TIGER requires that funds be obligated by October 1, 2014, this round of TIGER will begin making a difference soon. The limited amount of time means the Department will give priority to projects that are ready to proceed quickly. The deadline for project applications is June 3.
In addition to project that are ready to go, DOT is looking for surface transportation projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area--projects that will:
- Improve existing transportation facilities and systems;
- Contribute to American economic competitiveness;
- Create and preserve jobs;
- Increase transportation choices and access to transportation services for people in communities across the U.S.;
- Improve energy efficiency, reduce dependence on oil, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and
- Improve safety.
If the past is any indicator, the competition for TIGER 2013 awards will be strong.
What are we likely to see this year? We won't know until the applications come rolling in. But eligible projects include highways and bridges; public transit; passenger and freight rail; intermodal facilities; and marine and port investments.
Awards in urban areas may range in size from $10 million to $200 million. Grants to rural areas may be for less than $10 million, but must be more than $1 million. No less than $120 million of the $474 million must be awarded to projects in rural areas.
From redesigned interstate highway intersections to marine highways that transform the way we move cargo and transportation centers that have revitalized downtowns by offering a range of transportation options, the first four rounds of TIGER have made a difference in people's lives from coast to coast.
We expect no less from TIGER 2013.