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​Tunnel on the Siskiyou Line. Photo courtesy

of the Medford Mail Tribune.

Oregon bags another TIGER (grant, that is)
 
The Siskiyou Summit Railroad Revitalization project, which will restore service on the Central Oregon and Pacific (CORP) rail line between Medford and Weed by improving tunnels, rail, ties and bridges, has received a $7.1 million federal TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  The project will help southern Oregon shippers—particularly in the timber industry— save money and be more competitive by allowing them to ship their products by rail directly into California rather than by truck or on trains that backtrack north into Eugene before heading south.
 
The project was one of six projects designated by the Oregon Transportation Commission as a top priority for TIGER funding in March.  This marks the fourth straight year the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded a highly-competitive TIGER grant to an Oregon transportation project, and the third straight year that a project designated a top priority by the OTC has received funding.
 
Four other Oregon infrastructure projects have received TIGER funds in previous rounds of grants:
 
All told, Oregon has received nearly $65 million for infrastructure projects out of $3.1 billion that has been awarded nationwide. 
 
Depending on congressional action, another opportunity at TIGER funding may be available in 2013: the Senate transportation appropriations legislation includes $500 million for a fifth round of TIGER funding, though the House does not propose any money for the program.