It’s not like we have to tell you this, but America’s roads and highways need a lot of work (as does our entire transportation infrastructure in general.) The problem is very real as is finding the money to fix it.
Case in point, U.S. communities from coast to coast are asking for a whopping $9.3 billion in grant money to fund transportation infrastructure projects. That’s about 18 times the funding available through the 2016 TIGER Grant Program run by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
The program only has $500 million to dole out this year.
The agency says it’s received 585 TIGER applications for 2016. 337 of those from urban areas and 248 from rural communities.
“Communities across the country know that if we want a strong, multimodal transportation system that will meet our needs in the future, we need to make meaningful investments today,” said Secretary Foxx. “As we have seen year after year, there are far more worthy projects than we can fund through TIGER, demonstrating the need for a serious, long-term investment in transportation funding.”
The TIGER grant program started as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. It funds large capital infrastructure projects designed to generate economic development and improve access to safe and reliable transportation. It covers more than road and highway projects. For example, a recent $10 million grant went to extend Amtrak service in the Northeast. It’s designed to fund projects that don’t receive traditional federal funding. TIGER federal grants leverage money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, ports, and transit agencies.
Since 2009, TIGER has provided $4.6 billion to 381 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
More information about previous years’ TIGER grantees as well as this year’s application process can be found here.