The winners of $1.5 billion in merit-based transportation stimulus grants through the program known as TIGER (Transportation
Investment Generating Economic Recovery) will be announced on or
perhaps even before February 17, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood
confirmed this week.
in the Obama administration’s first economic stimulus law required
TIGER funding recipients to be named by February 17, and LaHood told
the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday that word may come down
"a day or two before that."
Metro and rural areas around the country are eagerly awaiting
word on the fate of their TIGER applications. Nearly $57 billion in
bids were submitted  for the stimulus law’s much smaller pot of transportation aid.
LaHood also addressed the fate of the $600 million that Congress included  in its 2010 transportation spending bill for more grants in the vein of TIGER, which rewards 
projects that meet a core group of benchmarks — including job creation
and sustainability — rather than running funds through
often-politicized state DOTs.
That extra $600 million in
TIGER grants will spark a new round of competition, LaHood said, with a
second round of winners announced in the coming months.
Transportation Secretary also broke some news relating to the White
House’s proposed National Infrastructure Fund, which has some key
differences from previous congressional plans for an Infrastructure
Bank located outside of the U.S. DOT. LaHood told lawmakers that "we
will be proposing authorization language very soon" so that Congress
can examine the details of the White House’s Fund plan.