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TIGER 6 grant program
The federal FY 2014 National Infrastructure Investment grant program (TIGER 6) provides $600 million for surface transportation construction projects and planning efforts across all modes.  Applications are due April 28. US DOT’s TIGER grant webpage includes information about the program, including the notice of funding availability (NOFA) and information on webinars for prospective applicants.
Seeking ODOT Support
TIGER grants are extremely competitive. In order to help Oregon projects compete effectively, ODOT will serve as a partner for local applications that impact the state highway system, offer letters of support for all meritorious applications, and recommend that the Oregon Transportation Commission designate a handful of projects as statewide priorities for funding under TIGER.
To request ODOT support for a TIGER application, please fill out ODOT’s TIGER 6 proposal form and e-mail it to travis.brouwer@odot.state.or.us and John Baker at john.j.baker@odot.state.or.us by March 24. ODOT staff will review proposals and make recommendations to the OTC on which projects to designate as statewide priorities for TIGER at their meeting on April 17.
Background Information on TIGER
ODOT staff has prepared the following background information on the TIGER 6 grant program, as well as a fact sheet on TIGER 6. More detailed information can be found in the TIGER NOFA.
A total of $600 million is available nationwide.  At least $120 million will be awarded to projects in rural areas (areas outside a Census Bureau-defined Urbanized Area of 50,000 or greater population). Up to $35 million may be used for the planning, preparation or design of eligible projects.
Grant Sizes
In urban areas US DOT can make grant awards for construction projects as large as $200 million.  In urban areas, the minimum award is $10 million, and in rural areas awards may be as small as $1 million.  These minimum grant sizes do not apply to grants for planning and design.  However, TIGER grants are typically much smaller than the maximum award. In the TIGER 5 program, grants ranged from $1 million to $20 million, with a median award of $10 million and an average award of $8.8 million.
Matching Funds and Leverage
For projects in urban areas, at least 20 percent of project costs must be provided from non-federal funds.  Projects in rural areas may receive up to 100 percent federal funding. 
Eligible Construction Projects
All surface transportation capital projects are eligible, including highways and bridges, public transit, freight and passenger rail, and port improvements.
Planning Grants
Activities eligible for planning grants include the planning, preparation, or design—including environmental analysis, feasibility studies, and other pre-construction activities—of eligible surface transportation projects. In addition, eligible activities related to multidisciplinary projects or regional planning may include:
·         Development of master plans, comprehensive plans, or corridor plans that will provide connection to jobs for disadvantaged populations, or include affordable housing components.
·         Planning activities related to the development of a multimodal freight corridor, including those that seek to reduce conflicts with residential areas and with passenger and non-motorized traffic.
·         Development of port and regional port planning grants, including State-wide or multi-port planning within a single jurisdiction or region.
·         Planning to encourage multiple projects within a common area to engage in programmatic mitigation in order to increase efficiency and improve outcomes for communities and the environment.
·         Risk assessments and planning to identify vulnerabilities and address the transportation system’s ability to withstand probable occurrence or recurrence of an emergency or major disaster or impacts of climate change.
Planning grant applications will be evaluated against the same criteria as capital grants. Applications should demonstrate how the project or regional plan resulting from the planning activity will help lead to these outcomes.
Eligible Applicants
Eligible applicants include state, local, and tribal governments, including U.S. territories, transit agencies, port authorities, metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), other political subdivisions of State or local governments, and multi-state or multi-jurisdictional groups applying through a single lead applicant.
Selection Criteria and Considerations
In awarding TIGER grants, US DOT assesses how each project contributes to state of good repair, economic competitiveness, safety, qualify of life, and sustainability, as well as whether the project uses innovative means to achieve these goals and the degree of partnership among a variety of participants. US DOT also assesses a project’s readiness to proceed to construction, as funds must be obligated by September 30, 2016.
In addition, an in-depth benefit-cost analysis is required. US DOT is more likely to award funds to projects that can demonstrate a strong likelihood that the overall project benefits across a number of areas significantly outweigh the project’s costs.
US DOT typically gives priority to projects for which federal funding is required to complete an overall financing package. Projects can increase their competitiveness by demonstrating significant non-federal contributions. 
Contact Information
Oregon government agencies seeking additional information about TIGER grants can contact Travis Brouwer, ODOT Federal Affairs Advisor, at 503-986-3448 or travis.brouwer@odot.state.or.us.