In anticipation of Wednesday's announcement, a refresher might be helpful.

In May 2009 Sec. LaHood commented that “TIGER discretionary funding will open up the door to many new innovative and cutting-edge transportation projects. . . . [that] I believe. . .will promote greater mobility, a cleaner environment and more livable communities.”

What is TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery)?
The Recovery Act provided up to $1.5 billion for a USDOT-administered competitive grant program. To ensure responsible spending, the department will require all fund recipients to report on their activities on a routine basis.

Who is eligible to apply?
State, local, tribal governments; transit agencies; ports; multi-state and multi-jurisdictional entities are eligible to apply.

What kinds of projects are eligible for funding?
Highway or bridge projects, public transportation projects, passenger and freight rail transportation projects, and port infrastructure investments.

How much funding might a project receive?
The grants can range from $20 million up to $300 million. Sec. LaHood can waive the minimum grant requirement for beneficial projects in smaller cities, regions or states. USDOT will require rigorous economic justifications for projects over $100 million.

What was the application criteria?
Priority will be given to projects that can be completed by February 17, 2012 (definition: “all funds have been obligated and expended, and construction of the project is substantially complete”).

-- Funds "will be awarded on competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region".

-- Primary selection criteria: (1) Long Term Outcomes (subcategories: State of Good Repair, Economic Competitiveness; Livability; Sustainability; Safety) and (2) Jobs Creation and Economic Stimulus.

-- Secondary selection criteria: Innovation (to accomplish primary criteria; for example, ITS, dynamic pricing, ATM; innovative financing, contracting, project delivery, congestion mgmt, etc); and Partnerships.

-- Criteria USDOT will review to determine a project’s readiness to proceed: project schedule; environmental approvals; legislative approvals; state and local planning; technical feasibility and financial feasibility.

-- Specific criteria will be used to prioritize projects in the following areas: Bridge replacement, transit, port infrastructure.

-- Additional priority to projects that create more livable communities, encourage energy efficiency, improve environment, supported by relevant public agencies with energy or environmental missions, and public housing agencies.

-- USDOT will ensure an equitable balance geographically, and between urban and rural projects.

Are matching funds required?
No. TIGER grants may be used for up to 100 percent of project costs. However, priority will be given to projects “for which Federal funding is required to complete an overall financing package that includes non-Federal sources of funds”.

What process did USDOT use to select grants?
USDOT officials indicated they would form an evaluation team consisting of technical and professional staff from the various mode divisions. Team members will evaluate and rate applications and then convene to discuss applications. Applications will be rated: highly recommend, recommended, or not recommended. Grants are more likely to be awarded to projects that are highly recommended in multiple criteria.

What are the program's deadlines?
Applications were due September 15th, 2009, and grants must be announced by February 17th, 2010.

Posted On 2/16/2010 11:13:00 AM by Larry Ehl |

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