UPDATE 1-U.S. announces $474 mln in transport infrastructure grants
By Ros Krasny
WASHINGTON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The United States will make about $474 million in discretionary grants for transportation projects in 37 states, the Department of Transportation said on Thursday.
Projects ranging from bike trails to bridge repair or replacement and port expansion will be funded under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER, program, said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.
TIGER grants, now in their fifth round, are among the only federal funding sources for large, multi-modal projects that often are not suitable for other federal funding.
In a call with reporters, Foxx said the department had received 585 applications totalling more than $9 billion in grant requests, and pared the list down to 52 projects.
"Every state in this nation has a to-do list," Foxx said.
Rural areas were targeted for 25 projects funded at $123 million, such as $2.2 million to pave gravel streets and earth roads in the remote village of Alakanuk, Alaska, population 695.
The funds are meant to piggyback on money from other sources, including private sector partners, states, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and transit agencies.
The 2013 TIGER round will support $1.8 billion in overall project investments, the Department said in a statement.
Gregory Ballard, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, said the city's transit arm would use a $10 million grant to replace up to 25 diesel buses with electric buses as part of a "post-oil technology" strategy.
In Texas, a $10 million grant to the Houston Bayport Wharf extension project will allow the terminal to double its capacity by 2033 and handle the larger ships expected after expansion of the Panama Canal is completed.