Friday, December 16, 2011

NRC lauds rail’s share of TIGER III grants

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In a letter Friday to “NRC Members and Friends,” National Railroad Construction & Maintenance Association President Chuck Baker hailed the awarding of $5111 million in federal TIGER III grants “to 46 capital construction projects in 33 states,” and noted “when rail projects are considered against other modes in a truly merit-based competition, rail does extraordinarily well!” 


Rail-related projects, both freight and passenger, received $279 million of the total amount, or roughly 54.6%. Beneficiaries (direct and indirect) range from Class I railroads such as BNSF and Norfolk Southern (see related story) to transit agencies such as MBTA, DART, and Sound Transit, to port authorities with rail-related projects (New Orleans, Long Beach), to Cincinnati’s streetcar startup.

“This is a testament to the quality of the applications being produced by the public agencies and their rail partners in addition to reflecting on the inherent efficiencies of rail and the excellent track record the rail construction industry is developing for delivering high quality construction projects on time and on budget,” said Baker. “We would like to thank the TIGER teams at USDOT and throughout the modal administrations for the good work they have done during the entire TIGER grant process, from producing the guidance to soliciting and evaluating the applications to awarding the projects.”

 

Baker noted the federal fiscal year 2012 appropriations process includes $500 million for a TIGER IV program. “The NRC will continue work with other transportation infrastructure advocacy organization and rally our members to persuade Congress to fund this deserving program at the highest feasible level. In an era of constrained financial resources, it is crucial that every public dollar invested in the transportation system be invested well, and the TIGER program has proven its merit on this front and deserves Congress’ and the Administration’s continued support,” he said.

A list of the project awards can be obtained by clicking here.