The U.S. Dept. of Transportation has announced the winners of $600 million in in the second round of Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants for projects that supporters say will have significant national or regional benefits.

Photo: King County, Wash.
Replacement for Seattle's South Park Bridge gets $34-million TIGER Grant

The largest grant among the 42 awards was $47.7 million to the city of Atlanta to help finance a $72.2-million, 2.7-mile downtown streetcar line.

Other big winners were a plan to unsnarl a freight rail bottleneck in Fort Worth, Texas, and a replacement for Seattle's 81-year-old South Park Bridge. Each of those projects received $34-million TIGER II grants.

The new round of TIGER awards, which DOT officially released on Oct. 20, were selected from nearly 1,000 applications from all 50 states. The total amount requested was about $19 billion.

Senators and House lawmakers from winning states had let some of the TIGER II cats out of the bag as early as Oct.15, announcing some winning projects after DOT had notified them about the results.

The TIGER program was created in last year's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and funded at $1.5 billion. DOT announced the winners in February, after receiving some $60 billion worth of proposals.

The first TIGER round, funded by the stimulus act, required no local matching funds. The second round, which was funded by regular appropriations, mandated a local match of at least 20% of total project costs.

In addition, Congress required that at least $140 million of the TIGER II total go to projects in rural areas. TIGER I had no such set-aside.

The five largest TIGER II grants are:
($ millions)
Atlanta streetcar
Tower 55 rail intersection, Fort Worth, Texas
South Park bridge replacement, Seattle
Sugar House streetcar, South Salt Lake City
Port of Miami rail access
Source: U.S. Dept. of Transportation