Tuesday, September 10, 2013

2013 Federal TIGER Grant Recipients Announced

The Port of Garibaldi has become one of very few West Coast recipients of funds doled out during the latest round of the US Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, program grants, which were announced Sept. 6.

Garibaldi, which is the closest seaport to Portland, received a $1.47 million TIGER grant which, when combined with funds from the Economic Development Administration and the statewide infrastructure investment program ConnectOregon, are expected to be used to complete utility and road improvements leading to the port’s Commercial Avenue wharf.

The port is in the midst of a project to revitalize the 100-foot long, 400-foot wide wharf.

The DOT also awarded $24 million in 2013 TIGER grant funding to Washington state light rail and commuter train operator Sound Transit.

The money is spread across two grants, with a proposed Tacoma Trestle Bridge replacement receiving $10 million in TIGER funds. The replacement project is designed to improve reliability by allowing two main tracks in an area of Tacoma where Sounder, Amtrak and freight trains all share the same track. Work is expected to begin in late 2015 and conclude in 2017.

The remainder of the Sound Transit funding goes toward preparation for extending light rail service across I-90 to Mercer Island, Bellevue and Redmond's Overlake area. Sound Transit and the Washington State Dept. of Transportation are working together to complete the third and final phase of adding new HOV lanes in both directions to the existing bridges.

The new lanes would establish 24-hour HOV capacity in both directions; today’s reversible lanes only serve westbound vehicles in the morning and eastbound vehicles at night. The project would ensure that the current number of general purpose and HOV lanes is in place when the I-90 center lanes are closed during the construction of light rail in the fall of 2016.

In all, 52 transportation projects in 37 states were awarded a total of $474 million from the TIGER grant program, with the majority of recipients being on the East and Gulf coasts.