The DOT TIGER grant program is a key funding source for port and freight projects. AAPA is a strong supporter of the TIGER grant program and calls for 25 percent to be dedicated to maritime projects.
From an investment perspective, the TIGER grant program has been a stimulus in helping define our nation’s freight network. The successes of TIGER grants for freight-related projects highlight the important role ports and intermodal projects play in improving our national freight system and leveraging private sector funding. The annual TIGER process and its coordinated and collaborative planning requirements in the submission of eligible freight-related projects has served as a catalyst in bringing freight stakeholders to the table – along with additional funding.
For example, in 2009, Congress dedicated $1.5 billion for the first round of TIGER and port-related infrastructure projects received about 8.6 percent of the original allocation. In subsequent rounds, port-related infrastructure did better, garnering 14.6 percent (of the total $600 million) in the second, 12.8 percent (of the total $527 million) in the third, 13.6 percent (of the total $500 million) in the fourth, 13.3 percent (of the total $474 million) in the fifth, 12.4 percent (of the total $600 million) in the sixth, and 9 percent (of the total $500 million) in the seventh.
Alabama State Port Authority – $12.7 million to convert an abandoned bulk terminal facility into a roll-on/roll-off vehicle processing operation;
Baltimore County, Maryland – $20 million for a "state-of-the-art" cargo-handling facility at the former U.S. steel property at Sparrows Point; and
St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District,Louisiana – $13 million to rehabilitate wharf sections in Chalmette, below New Orleans.
Several multimodal freight and rail access projects were also awarded funding.
Indiana Department of Transportation – $10 million to replace two deteriorating freight rail approaches to the Wabash River Bridge, which serves as a rail link from energy and agricultural suppliers of Illinois to river ports of Mt. Vernon, Indiana; and
City ofBurlington, Iowa – $17 million to revitalize a riverfront on the Mississippi River, including boat ramps and docking facilities for river cruises.
For a complete list and description of TIGER IX grant projects, click here.