The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant program was created under the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) with a $1.5 billion dollar multi-modal discretionary grant program.  It was designed to provide support for innovative transportation projects of national, regional, and local significance.  The TIGER program included projects that were often difficult to fund under the traditional transportation programs.  In 2010, the program received over 1400 applications, totaling almost $60 billion and awarded 51 projects.

When I first heard about the TIGER program, I could not get the words, "They’re great!" out of my mind.  As if Tony the Tiger had anything to do with either transportation or construction projects.  But an article in ENR last week confirmed some promising news for the transportation industry. 

According to the ENR report, the DOT program has not sought proposals for 2011 TIGER grants. However, some 2010 TIGER projects are moving toward construction, including a $105 million intermodal facility in Tennessee and a $97.5 million complex in Alabama.  The projects, both owned by Norfolk Southern Corp, are supposed to get more than $50 million each from the TIGER grant program.  The best news: Norfolk Southern "is likely to seek bids for the Tennessee project by the end of February."

If DOT does seek proposals for 2011, the best starting place to learn about grant opportunities and the application process is the Department of Transportation ARRA homepage, where you can review the list of last year’s applicants, a written summary of the selection process, and the Secretary’s decision memorandum that describes which applications were chosen and why.

Image: Mark Strozier