Friday, April 20, 2012

TIGER Grant Money Oversubscribed By 3188%

The latest round of Department of Transportation TIGER grants from the early Obama administration stimulus legislation totals $500 million. This is the fourth round since the stimulus measure passed Congress in 2009. The first three rounds awarded grants of $2.8 billion for 172 projects out of 3,348 applications for $95 billion in funding. Round four’s applicants are requesting $10.2 billion for 703 different projects, an oversubscription of 2040%. The oversubscription rate for TIGER funds overall amounts to 3188%.

The staggering size of the oversubscription reflects the dire state of transportation infrastructure across our nation. No one seriously contends that the 3176 road, bridge, rail and tunnel projects going unfunded so far are unneeded or wasteful; there’s just not enough money appropriated to pay for them. Unless Congress and the 50 state legislatures start finding ways to pay for these deferred maintenance and construction projects, it won’t be only the construction industry which suffers. Pothole filled roads, weakened bridges and clogged railroad trackage will slow down the movement of people and goods across our nation, and raise the prices of everything for everyone.

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