Four maritime projects receive 2017 TIGER grants

The following is text of a news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation:

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. Department of Transportation on Friday announced the list of 41 recipients of nearly $500 million in discretionary grant funding for road, transit, maritime and rail projects through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program.

“TIGER grants are targeted investments for our local communities that will increase safety, create jobs and modernize our country’s infrastructure,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

More than 64 percent of this round of TIGER funding was awarded to rural projects, a historic number that demonstrates this administration’s commitment to supporting the country’s rural communities.

Tribal projects are receiving $39.18 million of this round of awards, the highest amount of funding since the first round of TIGER.

The primary selection criteria for TIGER awards include considerations for safety, state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life and environmental sustainability for each project. Secondary criteria include innovation and partnerships. The criteria used to select projects for these grants were similar to the Administration’s Infrastructure principles of supporting economic vitality and promoting innovation.

The fiscal year (FY) 2017 TIGER program gave special consideration to projects which emphasized improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas, such as projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, or facilitate economic growth or competitiveness.

Four maritime projects supported by the TIGER discretionary grants are listed here:

• Southeast Automotive Gateway, Alabama State Port Authority, $12.7 million – to convert an abandoned bulk handling facility at the Port of Mobile into a roll-on/roll-off mobile vehicle processing facility.

• Mid-Atlantic Multi-Modal Transportation Hub, Baltimore County, Md., $20 million – to build state-of-the-art cargo-handling facilities at the Sparrows Point industrial facility in East Baltimore as part of a larger investment program to repurpose a former steel manufacturing site with marine service into a multimodal logistics hub.

• City of Burlington Downtown/Riverfront Revitalization Project, City of Burlington, Iowa, $17 million – to convert parts of Main and Jefferson streets into complete streets, constructing a linear multi-use path park, a new waterfront community gathering area and new parking lots, and installing new boat ramps and docking facilities for use by river cruise lines and recreational boaters.

• Reconstruction of the Chalmette Slip Project, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District, La., $13 million – to rehabilitate to modern design standards the last two original wharf sections, A and F, which have been maintained but have exceeded their useful lives over the past 110 years.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2017 appropriated $500 million, available through Sept. 30, 2020, for national infrastructure investments otherwise known as TIGER grants. As with previous rounds of TIGER, funds for the FY 2017 TIGER grants program are to be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the Nation, a metropolitan area, or a region. The FY 2017 Appropriations Act specifies that TIGER discretionary grants may not be less than $5 million and not greater than $25 million, except that for projects located in rural areas the minimum TIGER discretionary grant size is $1 million.

Since the TIGER grant program was first created, $5.6 billion has been awarded for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure over nine rounds of competitive grants. Throughout the TIGER program, these grants have supported projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area, or a region.

By Professional Mariner Staff