The Secretary of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), Anthony Foxx, held a media only conference call on Friday, September 12th, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation participated. The call, described to journalists as an"important transportation announcement", had the transportation community searching for what the important topic could be.
The subject of the call was to announce this years recipients of the DOT's Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery or TIGER grants. These grants are designed to send cash to communities for specific projects deemed valuable by the local communities. For instance Indianapolis, Indiana is receiving money for a downtown pedestrian and bike path, Ann Arbor, Michigan is getting some new bridges and Charleston, South Carolina is getting a bigger shipping port. There are 72 different projects being funded in 46 states spending almost $600 million dollars. This is the fifth year of the program.
The Secretary noted that the DOT had received 15 denied projects for every one that was funded. He then blamed Congress for not passing a long term highway bill for the desperate condition of our infrastructure. Local needs and job creation are the two factors the DOT examines when choosing the grant recipient. A big difference this year was the expanded non motorized transportation projects over previous years, while still giving more to rural communities than previous years.
While the EPA announced the White House review they did not release whether any changes were made to last year's proposal to lower the amount of ethanol that needs to be produced. The EPA will release the final rule after the White House and other federal agencies weigh in. The White House has 90 days to review the proposal and issue a response.
For a full list of projects and more information about the TIGER grants look here: http://www.dot.gov/tiger