Georgia passed over for TIGER grants

The Downtown skyline glows with the last rays of the setting sun. Ben Gray / @photobgray

The Downtown skyline glows with the last rays of the setting sun. Ben Gray / @photobgray

Georgia didn’t catch the TIGER by the tail this year.

The popular grant program, which in past years has been used to fund the Atlanta Streetcar and pay for part of the Beltline’s buildout, skipped over Georgia this year.

Grants worth $500 million announced today went to 39 projects in 34 other states. Among them were a $20 million grant for a 15-mile bus rapid transit (BRT) line in Birmingham, Ala.; and a $15 million grant to double the existing streetcar system in Tacoma, Wash.

About 950 pre-applications were received from local governments around the country, seeking nearly $14.5 billion in federal funds (for the record that’s 29 times the amount actually available). Metro Atlanta had high hopes of getting at least one TIGER grant.

TIGER grants are only made available as funding becomes available. So there’s no guarantee that another round will happen next year.

Local applicants left in the lurch included:

  • The city of Roswell, for a project to build sidewalks, two roundabouts, and a reversible lane system.
  • The city of Johns Creek, to build a flexible lane on Ga. 141/Medlock Bridge Road.
  • Fulton County, to upgrade the I-285 and Cascade Road interchange.
  • The city of Atlanta, to extend the Streetcar line east to the Beltline/Krog Street Market area.
  • The city of Atlanta, to partner with the PATH Foundation to build a multi-use path on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard from Fulton Industrial Boulevard to Northside Drive with connection stubs for MARTA.
  • Cobb County, to create the Cobb Parkway Smart Corridor project, which adds transit signal prioritization to 35 signals on U.S. 41, transit queue jump lanes at six intersections, improvements to reduce vehicle delays at three intersections, arterial road detection and surveillance equipment and digital message signs.

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