In the most recent round of TIGER grants announced last week, the City of Tampa, Florida will receive $11 million to finish its Riverwalk project. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the grant, awarded by U.S. DOT through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, will help fix two gaps in the walkway in a section of downtown Tampa where crashes between cars, cyclists and pedestrians are common. The 2.6-mile walkway along the Hillsborough River will also be connected to a 1.7-mile multi-use trail, which will create pedestrian and bike connections to bus and streetcar lines.
Today, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the recipients of the fourth round of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant program. Nearly $500 million will go to fund the 47 transportation projects in 34 states plus the District of Columbia. Many projects are not eligible for other kinds of federal funding or have difficulty finding funding due to their regional or multi-state nature.
The Ames Intermodal Facility in Ames, Iowa, a transportation hub that will bring together parking, transit access, public and private transportation providers, and the Iowa State University and Ames communities, opened its doors last week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin as well as the mayor of Ames and the president of Iowa State.
Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development approved its FY 2013 spending bill, including a restoration of $50 million in funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Sustainable Communities Initiative.
The subcommittee voted 15-1 to approve the bill, which contains $53.4 billion for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development spending for FY 2013, a 3.5% decrease from current levels. During the markup, Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) emphasized the important role infrastructure investment plays in creating jobs and improving our economy.
“This legislation will create jobs and make critical investments in our nation’s roads, bridges, rail and transit systems, and airports. The bill also preserves an essential part of the country’s safety net by protecting housing assistance for low-income families and veterans,” Murray later said in a statement.
The Arizona Daily Wildcat reported yesterday that the Sun Link streetcar project, which is funded by a Department of Transportation TIGER grant, formally broke ground yesterday in downtown Tucson. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild stated that Sun Link would benefit the city and create jobs by connecting businesses and the University of Arizona to downtown.
Fox19 reports that Cincinnati Mayor Mallory joined by U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Federal Transit Administration Peter Rogoff to kick off construction of a new streetcar line partially funded by a DOT TIGER grant.
The new 3.6-mile streetcar line will connect Downtown and Over-the-Rhine.
The D.O.T. says it will spur Cincinnati’s efforts to revitalize its downtown core by improving access to major employers, the developing riverfront and many area attractions.
Photo of U.S. Highway 101 as it passes through the Smith River Rancheria, from AARoads.
This post was co-written by Terry Supahan, President of Supahan Consulting Group.
With technical assistance from Smart Growth America, the Smith River Rancheria, a federally recognized tribal government, secured a $2.5 million TIGER grant for the U.S. Highway 101 Multimodal Smith River Safety Corridor project. The project will implement walking and bicycling safety improvements along approximately 1.3 miles of the Gateway Area of U.S. 101 in California just south of the Oregon border. Project elements include unique colorized, stamped shoulder treatments, new signage, lighting, and related improvements. The objectives of these investments are to increase safety, especially for pedestrians, bicyclists, and other vulnerable users, as well as calm traffic, expand travel choices, and enhance community identity and livability.
Alton Mayor Tom Hoechst, Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick, and Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson addressed economic development in each of their communities at a RiverBend Growth Association event this week, reports The Telegraph.
Among the many exciting initiatives, Mayor Hoechst spoke about the immense economic benefits that the $14 million dollar Alton Multimodal Station, funded by a Department of Transportation TIGER grant, will bring to the region.
Hoechst said the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, grant would help boost the economy, and not just in Alton. Some 65 million people travel by rail and the improvements to the system would allow more people to come to town.
The following is based on an interview with Bruce Lindholm, Program Manager, South Dakota Department of Transportation.
For farming communities in South Dakota, high transportation costs for crops has a major impact on the economy. Increased mileage and fuel prices mean that less money goes back into farmers’ pockets and into the local community. All of that is about to change with the help of a TIGER II grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, through the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. The Mitchell-Rapid City Rail Line, in the midst of rehabilitation, will soon be able to transport agricultural commodities shorter distances and at lower costs than the trucks currently in use. Once completed, the Line will carry grain and fertilizer over 60 miles from Mitchell, SD to Chamberlain, SD.
The improvements will be a boon to the economy. “Significant savings in transportation costs will allow the local elevator to pay farmers 15-25 cents more per bushel for their product. That money goes back into the local economy,” says Bruce Lindholm, Program Manager at the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). He and others at SDDOT are overseeing the reconstruction of the rail line through a predominantly agricultural and rural region of the state.
Architect’s rendering of proposed Kent Central Gateway. Image via Kent State University.
When the federal government invests in infrastructure, the funds directly help communities with large, long-term projects. But these investments go beyond direct help: when the government invests in an area, private developers often follow its lead and invest as well. In doing so, these federal investments have an even bigger impact.
Downtown Kent, Ohio, is a great example of this. After many public meetings to create a vision for the city’s future, Kent is transforming its downtown into a vibrant public space. A $20 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation (part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities) has helped the town build a new multimodal transportation facility – and the city is now experiencing over $100 million in related development.