The Dept. of Transportation has awarded $1.5 billion in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to 51 projects that are expected to have a significant regional or national impact. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant winners cross most transportation modes, from bicycle paths to major bridges and freight-rail projects.

DOT's awards, announced Feb. 17, range from $3.2 million for a Burlington, Vt., waterfront project, to $105 million for the "Crescent Corridor" freight rail-improvement program in Tennessee and Alabama.

Interest in the TIGER program far outstripped the dollars DOT had available. The department received more than 1,400 applications from all 50 states and other jurisdictions, requesting a total of nearly $60 billion.

DOT Secretary Ray LaHood, who announced the awards in Kansas City, Mo., site of one of the winning proposals, said, "TIGER grants will tackle the kind of major transportation projects that have been difficult to build under other funding programs."

Under the stimulus legislation, DOT was required to announced its awards for the program by Feb 17, the one-year anniversary of the measure's enactment.

The ARRA statute set the maximum grant for the program at $300 million, though DOT's largest award was $105 million.

In addition, the statute said that DOT should "give priority to projects that require a contribution of federal funds in order to complete an overall financial package, and to projects that are expected to be completed within three years of enactment" of ARRA.

The Ten Largest TIGER Grants
Crescent Corridor intermodal freight rail (Tenn., Ala.) $105 million
'CREATE' freight-rail program (Ill.) $100 million
National Gateway freight-rail corridor (Ohio, Pa., W.Va., Md.) $98 million
Moynihan rail station, phase one (N.Y.) $83 million
Tucson streetcar (Ariz.) $63 million
National Capitol Region priority bus transit (Washington, D.C.; Va.; Md.) $58.8 million
Fitchburg commuter-rail extension; Wachusett Station (Mass. $55.5 million
Kansas City transit corridors; Green Impact Zone (Mo., Kan.) $50 million
I-244 multimodal bridge replacement (Okla.) $49.5 million
Source: U.S. Dept. of Transportation