Good morning. Thank you for joining us for this important announcement.
Since day one, the Department of Transportation has been investing in President Obama’s vision of an America built to last.
We are putting people back to work building our roads, our bridges, and our rails.
Today, we are continuing that commitment through the fourth round of the TIGER Grant program. That’s the Transportation Generating Economic Recovery program.
This time, DOT is funding 47 projects in 34 states. And we are investing a total of $500 million in projects across the country.
These projects create good jobs today and build a stronger American economy for tomorrow.
Through TIGER, we are making a difference in every state in the country.
We’re giving Americans choices—We’re investing in transit projects like the Wave Streetcar System in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
We’re improving safety by replacing structurally deficient bridges in places like Maine and Arizona.
And we’re continuing our unprecedented attention to our ports with projects like the renovation of Tulsa’s Port of Catoosa, one of the largest inland ports in the nation.
We’re also making a commitment to rural America. In this round alone, more than $120 million will go toward critical projects in rural areas—including $30 million to replace and repair rural roads and bridges.
Finally, we are making investments in projects that often cannot get funding through other programs; this includes ports and freight rail projects.
TIGER starts from the ground up. We have asked—and continue to ask—public officials and experts at the local level to tell us which projects will make the greatest difference.
After all, they are the ones who best know the needs of their communities.
The Department of Transportation invests in these projects as partners.
And then we reward innovative solutions that will make a real difference in the economic future of a state—and in people’s daily lives.
Under all four rounds, the TIGER program has provided a total of $3.1 billion to fund 218 projects in all 50 states.
Demand for TIGER is huge. In the fourth round alone, DOT received 703 applications totaling $10.2 billion from every state in the country, the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
This demand shows the need across the country.
Our transportation infrastructure is crumbling – and the only place we see more gridlock than our highways is in Congress.
We can’t do this all by ourselves.
Tuesday marks the 1000th day since we had a real transportation bill. That’s just not acceptable.
Every state in the nation has a to-do list of projects.
Congress has the power right now to pass a long-term transportation bill. And that bill should include a program like TIGER to encourage innovation and address our nation's transportation needs.
We are still fighting our way out of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression – we know that states and local governments are hurting – we need to give them the funding and the certainty they need to tackle big projects.
We need Congress to stop playing political games and to take action.
Across this country, there are workers ready to roll up their sleeves and get back on construction jobsites.
Across this country, there is work to be done on important projects.
Together, let’s put people back to work making a transportation system that’s the envy of the world – and an America that’s built to last.