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TIGER Grant IV Rollout – National Press Call

Secretary Ray LaHood

Remarks Prepared for Delivery

TIGER Grant IV Rollout – National Press Call

Friday June 22, 2012

  • 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.
  • Thank you. I’m happy to answer your questions.

Updated: Monday, November 19, 2012