USDOT to award TIGER grants one month early

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The U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it will accelerate stimulus spending and announce $1.5 billion in TIGER Discretionary Grants as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act one month early.

The TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program will award ARRA funds on a competitive basis to projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region or metropolitan area, and can create jobs and benefit economically distressed areas.

“Our top priority with the Recovery Act is to get money out the door quickly in order to put people to work and get the economy back on track,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says.

As part of the ongoing effort to accelerate spending, LaHood says he has created a review team to expedite the application process for the $1.5 billion TIGER Discretionary Grant program to enable USDOT to announce the grants in January 2010 – one full month ahead of the statutory deadline.

“By awarding these recovery dollars ahead of schedule, we’ll be able to jump start major-impact projects and boost local economies across America even more quickly,” LaHood says.

ARRA was designed to ramp up over time with peak activity taking place in the second half of 2009 and first half of 2010. After laying the groundwork in the first 100 days of ARRA, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden in June announced the “Roadmap to Recovery,” 10 major projects taking place nationwide this summer that are a first step in achieving that accelerated pace. Since then, the administration has continued to pursue additional ways to speed implementation.