Contact: Paul Griffo
NEWARK, Del. – The U.S. Department of Transportation today announced a $10 million grant to build a new regional rail transportation center on the proposed University of Delaware Science and Technology campus. The project is one of 47 projects in 34 states and the District of Columbia selected to receive funding under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly competitive $500 million TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) 2012 program.
“TIGER projects like this one, serving the busiest passenger rail corridor in the nation, mean good transportation jobs today and a stronger economic future for the nation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “President Obama’s support for an America built to last is putting people back to work across the country building roads, bridges and other projects that will mean better, safer transportation for generations to come.”
The $26 million Newark Regional Transportation Center is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs, according to the Wilmington Area Planning Council. It will be located on the proposed University of Delaware Science and Technology campus, on the site of a vacant Chrysler Assembly plant. The project was planned and designed using TIGER II planning funds.
“Newark’s new rail facility provides a real desirable transportation alternative to the grueling congestion on the I-95 corridor, while improving the efficiency and comfort of commuter rail passengers in the region,” said Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff, who was in Newark for the grant announcement. “Across the country, the TIGER program is putting Americans back to work and vacant lots back to good use so that communities may thrive for years to come.”
The new transportation center, which replaces the current rail station nearby, will serve more than 20,000 future students anticipated at the new campus, in addition to 30,000 residents of the City of Newark and surrounding communities, and over a million travelers a year who use Amtrak and regional commuter rail service connecting Newark with Philadelphia. The center will also serve an expanding regional workforce, thanks to an influx of thousands of jobs at the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground about 30 miles away in Northeastern Maryland.
The TIGER program is a highly competitive program that funds innovative projects that are difficult or impossible to fund through other federal programs. In many cases, these grants will serve as the final piece of funding for infrastructure investments totaling $1.7 billion in overall project costs. These federal funds are being leveraged with money from private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.
TIGER has enjoyed overwhelming demand since its creation, a trend continued by TIGER 2012. Applications for this most recent round of grants totaled $10.2 billion, far exceeding the $500 million set aside for the program. In all, the Department received 703 applications from all 50 states, U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
The grants will fund a wide range of innovative transportation projects in urban and rural areas across the country:
- Of the $500 million in TIGER 2012 funds available for grants, more than $120 million will go to critical projects in rural areas.
- Roughly 35 percent of the funding will go to road and bridge projects, including more than $30 million for the replacement of rural roads and bridges that need improvements to address safety and state of good repair deficiencies.
- 16 percent of the funding will support transit projects like the Wave Streetcar Project in Fort Lauderdale.
- 13 percent of the funding will support high-speed and intercity passenger rail projects like the Raleigh Union Station Project in North Carolina.
- 12 percent will go to freight rail projects, including elements of the CREATE (Chicago Region Environmental and Transportation Efficiency) program to reduce freight rail congestion in Chicago.
- 12 percent will go to multimodal, bicycle and pedestrian projects like the Main Street to Main Street Multimodal Corridor project connecting Memphis and West Memphis.
- 12 percent will help build port projects like the Outer Harbor Intermodal Terminal at the Port of Oakland.
- Three grants were also directed to tribal governments to create jobs and address critical transportation needs in Indian country.
Over the next six months, 27 projects are expected to break ground from the previous three rounds of TIGER. In addition, work is under way on 64 capital projects across the country.
On November 18, 2011, the President signed the FY 2012 Appropriations Act, which provided $500 million for Department of Transportation national infrastructure investments. Like the first three rounds, TIGER 2012 grants are for capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and are awarded on a competitive basis. This is the fourth round of TIGER funding
Under all four rounds combined, the TIGER program has provided $3.1 billion to 218 projects in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Demand for the program has been overwhelming, and during all four rounds, the Department of Transportation received more than 4,050 applications requesting more than $105.2 billion for transportation projects across the country.
The fiscal year 2013 appropriations bill currently under consideration in the U.S. Senate provides $500 million for a future round of TIGER grants.
Click here for additional information on individual TIGER grants http://www.dot.gov/tiger/fy2012tiger.pdf.