DOT Announces TIGER Grant for the Southeast Automotive Gateway
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) awarded a $12.7 million fiscal 2017 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant to the Alabama State Port Authority for the Southeast Automotive Gateway in Mobile, the department announced in a March 9 release.
“TIGER grants are targeted investments for our local communities that will increase safety, create jobs and modernize our country’s infrastructure,” said Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The project converts an abandoned bulk handling facility at the Port of Mobile into a roll-on/roll-off mobile vehicle processing facility. The facility will be capable of handling automobiles, military vehicles, trucks, other rolling stock, and high/heavy cargos. The project will convert a derelict port site into a useful facility that could serve several automobile manufacturing plants. The new port access will reduce shipping costs to manufacturers in the region. The port intends to deliver the project using a public-private partnership through which the concessionaire operating the facility will make capital contributions and cover operating expenses.
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 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.
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 fiscal 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 fiscal 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.