City fails to win grant for proposed underpass

By: 
Liz Kearney

Livingston didn’t make the cut in a competitive federal grant that would have been used to fund construction of a railroad underpass on the town’s west side. 

The U.S. Department of Transportation announced the recipients of its 2016 TIGER — Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery — grants Friday afternoon. 

Interim City Manager Lisa Lowy said in an email city officials were disappointed not to be selected, but also noted that the relatively small number of people who would be served by a new underpass limited the likelihood of receiving the federal funds.

About $500 million in TIGER grants will be distributed across 40 communities in 32 states and two U.S. territories, according to a DOT news release. 

“For the eighth year running, TIGER will inject critical infrastructure dollars into communities across the country,” DOT Secretary Anthony Foxx said in the release. “This unique program rewards innovative thinking and collaborative solutions to difficult and sometimes dangerous transportation problems. A great TIGER program doesn’t just improve transportation; it expands economic opportunity and transforms a community.”

The highly competitive TIGER grant program this year focused on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural, the release said. 

Demand for the 2016 TIGER grant program continued to far exceed available funds. Applications requested more than $9.3 billion for the approximately $500 million available, the release said.

Of the 40 grant recipients this year, nearly two-thirds are repeat applicants. 

The full list of recipients is available online at https://www.transportation.gov/tiger-2016-project-fact-sheets.

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Liz Kearney may be reached at lkearney@livent.net.