Thursday, February 18, 2010

US Freight To Benefit Significantly From TIGER Grants

Winning Projects for Grants Announced
Shipping News Feature

USA – The Department of Transport (DOT) has finalized which projects are to receive funding out of the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) scheme which will see $1.5 billion invested in the nation’s rail, ports and roadways.

Amongst the beneficiaries of grants are eleven important freight infrastructure developments across America which, in the words of the DOT, will “…help get freight off America’s highways and onto rail. This investment will make our roads safer, the air cleaner, reduce traffic congestion and decrease our reliance on foreign oil.”

In addition, money is to be spent on a number of road routes which should assist in cutting congestion and improving safety, assisting road drayage. One example is US-491, a primary truck route in north-west New Mexico, which is to receive $31million to widen 69 miles of what is described as ‘one of the most dangerous routes in New Mexico’.

Three of the biggest recipients will be the rail freight projects CREATE, which will receive $100 million in federal grants to address the problems of rail freight congestion across Chicago; the National Gateway Freight Corridor, which will get $98 million to improve intermodal facilities and routes across the Mid-West and the Atlantic seaboard, and the Crescent Corridor Project, which will receive the biggest grant of some $105 million in order to provide a major boost to freight capacity between the South-East and the Mid-Atlantic.

Speaking of the allocation of the TIGER grants Ray LaHood, the Secretary of Transport, said in his blog that: “DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery discretionary grant program is a crucial part of the Recovery Act. We're trying to help build high-priority innovative transportation projects that were difficult to fund through traditional programs--projects that create jobs, stimulate economic activity, and help develop livable communities.

“Were there a lot of projects out there that fit such criteria? You bet there were. In fact, DOT received more than 1,400 applications seeking more than $60 billion in support. Now that is an overwhelming number of interesting and useful projects that testifies to the vitality of American transportation planning.

“I think the range of project awards bears that out. From freight rail to streetcars, from roadways to waterways to bikeways, we are affirming the truly multi-modal nature of American transportation.”

For a full list of the transport projects to benefit see here.

(pic: Secretary LaHood)