Durbin: Omnibus Appropriations Bill Invests $500 Million in Priority Transportation & Infrastructure Projects
Competitive TIGER Grant Program awarded Illinois projects $290 million in funding since 2009
[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) announced today that the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016 includes $500 million for investments in priority transportation projects through the competitive TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant Program. Illinois has been the second largest beneficiary of TIGER funding across the country, receiving nearly $290 million since the popular program was created in 2009.
“Illinois lies at the heart of our nation’s transportation network. Communities in our state – from Chicago to Alton – have seen the benefits of the TIGER Grant Program firsthand,” said Durbin. “As our infrastructure needs remain high, robust funding for the TIGER Grant Program will make much-needed investments in the highway, bridge, airport, rail, and port projects that are critical to our economic future and the safety of travelers throughout the country.”
The Department of Transportation’s TIGER grant program was originally created as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in order to give local communities the chance to apply directly to the federal government for funding their highest priority transportation projects. The program invests in a variety of transportation modes, selects projects through a transparent, competitive and merit-based process, and requires the Secretary of Transportation to provide a full description of how applications will be evaluated. The grant program also ensures that projects across the country are funded, and includes several provisions to balance the needs of urban and rural areas. Demand for the program every year is dramatically higher than available funding.
Illinois has received twice as much money through the competitive TIGER Grant Program than through traditional federal highway funds distributed by formula. Since the program was first established in 2009, Illinois has received nearly $290 million in TIGER funding to support critical transportation and infrastructure projects across the state including: the Warehouse District in Peoria, the Multimodal Facilities in Moline, Normal, Urbana, and Alton, the Chicago Lakefront Bridge in Bronzeville, and the CREATE project in Chicago.
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