Local

Washington state not benefiting from special transportation grants under Trump

A southbound Sounder train navigates the old trestle adjacent to the new one under construction near Tacoma Dome station in Februaru 2017. A $10 million federal grant was used to help pay for the $161 million project.
A southbound Sounder train navigates the old trestle adjacent to the new one under construction near Tacoma Dome station in Februaru 2017. A $10 million federal grant was used to help pay for the $161 million project. dperine@thenewstribune.com

Transit projects. New roads. Port improvements.

From 2009 to 2017, Washington state benefited from a specific type of federal grant earmarked for transportation projects.

Called TIGER grants, for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery, the money helped pay for 16 projects from Spokane to Neah Bay, including a number in Pierce and Franklin counties, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

That money has dried up under the Trump administration, which has steered the grants, now called BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) to other states and away from urban areas to more rural ones.

Here are some of the projects that received funding under TIGER:

Tacoma Link expansion

Year of award: 2015

Amount: $10 million

Project: A $217 million expansion of the Tacoma streetcar line from its current terminus in the downtown area through the Stadium District and onto the Hilltop.

Tacoma trestle replacement

Year of award: 2013

Amount: $10 million

Project: A $161 million replacement of a train trestle in the Dome District to improve and expand Sounder commuter rail and Amtrak service.

Interstate 5 JBLM corridor

Year of award: 2011

Amount: $15 million

Project: A multi-year, nearly $500 million effort to expand capacity and improve traffic safety along I-5 in the vicinity of Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

Foster Wells Road, Franklin County

Year of award: 2010

Amount: $1 million

Project: A $2.93 million project to extend Foster Wells Road East from its terminus to Pasco-Kahlotus Road, “creating an additional transportation route for agricultural commodities produced in the area,” according to the grant application.

  Comments