Oklahoma City is enjoying a renaissance that began when our residents chose to invest in the quality of life of our community. Over the past two decades, the people of Oklahoma City have voted to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in cultural amenities, schools and infrastructure designed to revitalize our community and make it a destination of choice for young, creative professionals and the jobs they attract.
These highly educated, highly mobile young people value communities with rich cultural, sports and entertainment offerings , a walkable urban environment, and access to public transportation.
In regard to Oklahoma City’s vision for public transportation, the $13.6 million TIGER grant from the Department of Transportation is a game changer. It’s an opportunity to accelerate our efforts to develop a comprehensive regional transit system that meets the expectations of our residents and the needs of a 21st Century City.
We began this process in 2005 with the creation of a Fixed Guideways Study, which laid out a blueprint for a 21st Century transit system that includes buses, bus rapid transit and rail-based transit. In 2009, the residents passed a penny sales tax with an expectation that, among other projects, we would build a streetcar system.
Each day at the Maritime Administration we work tirelessly to achieve our mission to foster, promote, and develop the merchant maritime industry of the United States. Ensuring that our maritime industry continues to thrive is an economic and national security imperative.
So, when the Duluth Seaway Port Authority was selected last week to receive a grant from DOT’s 2013 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program, I jumped at the chance to visit the Port of Duluth-Superior and make the $10 million grant announcement.
Thanks to DOT’s TIGER program, last week was a great one for American rail. Of the $474 million in funding awarded to 52 projects in 37 states, $146 million of it – or about 30 percent of all funding – went to 17 rail projects in 16 states, extending the program’s four-year reach to 48 states and $808 million in project funding.
Supporting President Obama’s call to “Fix-it First,” I had the pleasure of announcing two of these grant awards in person, and to see firsthand the commitment of state, city, and community leaders to do what it takes to enhance the safety, efficiency and reliability of their freight rail systems.
FRA Administrator Joseph Szabo with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin; photo courtesy Vermont Digger, John Herrick
In Davidson Country, Tennessee, some of the traffic signals were installed when the Sony Walkman was still cutting-edge technology. Today, they don't even make parts for those signals anymore.
That's one reason why the Department of Transportation selected the Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority's traffic signal replacement project as one of this year’s TIGER recipients.
This project will modernize signal technology along two vital bus lines to maximize the number of buses that can travel their routes, getting more service out of the same roads. It's a change that benefits drivers, pedestrians, and transit riders.
On this National Day of Service, we'd like to honor those who inspired our new national tradition of service by taking action on September 11, 2001.
Earlier today, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx visited a middle school service project in Tucson, Arizona, with Education Secretary Arne Duncan. There, he reminded students that their service makes a difference.
We at DOT hope that the two video reflections here will serve as a reminder that when we all do our part--to help strangers as well as neighbors--our nation will not falter.
Last week Deputy Federal Highway Administrator Greg Nadeau and I had the opportunity to see how transportation projects funded through DOT's TIGER program are improving the quality of life in Virginia and Arkansas.
The TIGER transformations are something worth seeing. Which is why I travelled to Richmond to announce a TIGER grant that will rehabilitate the Lexington Delta Frame Bridges along I-64 in Rockbridge County.
I-64 is an economic fulcrum in the Old Dominion. It serves commuters, tourists, Virginia’s economy, and the nation--in part by providing vital access for freight heading to and from the Hampton Roads ports.
The City of Foley is very excited to be a recipient of a $4.7 million TIGER Grant. The infrastructure improvements this award will fund include safe bicycle and pedestrian paths for residents and visitors throughout the community, and they will certainly have a very positive effect on our citizens.
For years, a fact of life in Foley has been that our city is divided into four quadrants by the two major highways that intersect the city. Because of the grid created by the highways, key areas of the city, including the library and centrally located 6-acre park have not been easy to access except by car.
TIGER funding from DOT will allow all four quadrants of the city to be more easily accessible with bicycle and pedestrian improvements that will create safe paths for better connectivity. These changes will promote walking and biking, and will enhance both quality of life and recreational opportunities.
Vice President Biden announces $10 million DOT TIGER award to expand capacity
At the Department of Transportation, we know firsthand the role transportation plays in moving our economy forward. And that’s literally what takes place at the Port of Baltimore every day.
Moving cargo is the lifeblood of our economy. And our ports are essential to growing our nation's exports.
That’s why, yesterday, I joined Vice President Biden to announce a $10 million DOT TIGER grant for the port that will expand a busy terminal and allow the deepening of a key navigation channel to proceed.
Together, these improvements will increase efficiency at the Port, reduce shipping costs for auto exporters; and allow shippers to take advantage of the new, larger container ships that will soon be coming through the expanded Panama Canal. As the Vice President said, "If we make it in America ... we’ve got to be able to ship it around the world."
Photo courtesy Office of the Vice President
We are elated that DOT has recognized the potential of our continued efforts to revitalize our community through downtown investment here in Goldsboro, North Carolina. The TIGER grant award of $10 million to Goldsboro for our Main Street Revitalization project is nothing short of amazing.
Our project partners livability and transportation infrastructure needs into one effort that--when coupled with our national Main Street™--approach towards downtown revitalization, will result in immense returns for Goldsboro. We are very fortunate to have had the foresight through leadership and dedication that prepared us to be competitive enough to earn this significant award from DOT's TIGER program. And we are especially grateful for DOT having the confidence to invest in us.
Wherever you live--a big city, a small community, wherever--you should have safe, reliable access to jobs, schools, medical care, and stores. And wherever you operate your business--whether that business is a family farm or a manufacturing plant--you should be able to move your goods to the market.
America will be defined as a nation by whether we can connect every citizen --rural or urban-- to the 21st Century economy.
That’s why, when it came time to award DOT's fifth round of TIGER grants, I was proud to announce that nearly half of the projects selected support rural areas of the country--and that's our biggest rural share to date.