U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told state department of transportation executives that her department will award the 2017 round of TIGER infrastructure grants "very soon," and that the 2017 and 2018 INFRA program grants would follow soon afterward.
Chao made the comments Feb. 28 as she gave a luncheon speech at the annual Washington Briefing conference of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. A video of her entire remarks is available (below) through AASHTO's Transportation TV service.
State DOTs and other stakeholders have been looking for the USDOT to announce the TIGER grants. Congress last May appropriated $500 million for those awards, and the DOT took applications through Oct. 16 for them.
The department in the past has distributed TIGER funds to a wide range of transportation projects covering various travel modes.
The separate INFRA program targets projects of regional and national significance and those that improve major freight corridors. The USDOT awarded rural-area and small 2017 INFRA grants last year, but held back most grant funds that would have gone to larger projects and combined them with a 2018 grant round totaling about $1.56 billion. It took applications for those through Nov. 2.
State DOTs have said if they do not receive the funds soon they will not be able to put them to use during the spring construction season.
Here is the video of Chao's remarks to the AASHTO Washington Briefing.
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